KELOLAND students receive their first Thanksgiving meal thanks to the school program

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – It was a rewarding day for students at the Career and Technical Education Academy as they organized something special – throwing a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the children in the Elementary Immersion Program at Jane Addams. Janelle Whempner, a culinary instructor at CTE Academy, says the event gives her students a chance to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.

“So they’re using their skills and having a real audience for them and it gives us a chance to share one of our American traditions with kids who are new to our country and it’s a really awesome experience,” said Whempner.

Not only were the students able to eat, but they also learned to prepare some of the food with the help of older students from the academy.

“We had different stations where they could learn how to make cranberry sauce, how to make butter, all these different things that are part of Thanksgiving,” said Leighton Feltman, a senior at Lincoln High Schools who attends CTE Academy.

Feltman is part of the culinary program. He says watching a child’s face light up as they taste their first bite of turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie is rewarding.

“Kids are very easy to get excited about anything, so when they come in and eat good food and have fun making the food, it’s a great experience,” Feltman said.

Students in the Elementary Immersion Program come from all over the world. Today was designed to welcome them and help them experience American culture one delicious spoonful at a time.

The Elementary Immersion Center provides basic English skills to students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Students learn basic English, including words needed for conversation, early reading and writing.