Want to see something cool?” Holly
Hermansen, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, asked me during
lunch at Kane’s Family Restaurant last week.
Since I’m always game to learn more about our community, I agreed to a
morning of school visits to see what our youth are learning these days.
So on a rainy Thursday morning we
drove around western Nevada County and dropped in to several classrooms
to see what was cool.
started at Lyman Gilmore Middle School with Principal Chris Roberts and
the culinary arts class. Seventh and eighth graders were making sushi.
Yes, sushi. The classroom had eight kitchens with stovetops, ovens,
sinks, etc. The kids were hustling around making and eating their rolls.
This was up my alley. I like food.
Who doesn’t? But when I was this age I could only make a bowl of cereal,
and cooking classes were for girls. Yeah, I just said that. I apologize
to all the feminists out there. But that’s what happened back then.
Boys didn’t take home-ec.
Today, though, I love to cook. Time in the kitchen is creative and
relaxing. These kids are learning valuable life skills and will be way
ahead of me as adults. And they appeared to enjoy themselves.
When I asked one young chef, he said, “We get to try so many things and I get to eat stuff.”
The daily lessons include planning as well as cooking. And, of course, eating. I want to take this class.
Principal Roberts then showed me the Gilmore News Network studio. This
classroom was decked out with video cameras, computers with video
editing software and a team of students preparing the next broadcast of
I was impressed with the
kids’ knowledge of the video editing software, but even more impressed
with their focus on the tasks at hand. They were on deadline. Each
Friday they broadcast a partially live and recorded news show for both
parents and students. Take a look at their work at http://gilmore.gvsd.us.
Back in 1939 it took a team of adults months to colorize The Wizard of
Oz. Now kids are shooting, editing and broadcasting videos weekly.
Again, they are having fun.
“It’s fun to explore what you can do, and it’s fun to share with the school,” one budding news anchor told me.