The inaugural workshop of Discover. Cook. Nourish. the how and why of whole foods cooking for school food service workers, created by Cookus Interruptus (that’s us!), takes place this Saturday, March 5th . This will be the first of many workshops as the grant executors hope to schedule at least 35 this year. The workshop instructors are trained, the informative, colorful power point slide shows are loaded on laptops and jumpdrives, the 100-page+ accompanying workbook full of practical information, research and recipes has been printed a put into binders – we are ready, set, go.
Participants at the workshop will begin the morning by playing an improvisational theater game called Yes And. The game was invented to help improvisational theater actors accept offers on stage. For example, if a scene begins and actor #1 says ”Hey honey, do you have everything packed for our trip” – there is a clear offer. The offer being that the two actors are related in some way, the activity is packing, and the future promises a trip of some sort. Let’s say that actor #2 enters this scene and says, “I don’t want to take a trip. I have work to do.” Instantly the scene falls flat. Forward motion stops. Whereas if the actor had responded by saying, “Yes and I am so excited that we are part of the first ever Vacation to Mars tour.” – well, now you have a scene. Wonderful possibilities exist. The life of the scene moves forward.
This game is apropos for any encounter where people are meeting to create solutions or bring forth new plans. Consider how often we routinely say, “That won’t work.” to a new idea. When we do, the flow stops. The person offering the new idea is shut down.
Our hope is that playing the Yes And game will help the Discover. Cook. Nourish participants open to possibility. The game encourages conscious thinking about the pat responses “that won’t work, because”, or “yes, but”, or flat out ‘no” when offered a new idea. By setting this tone for the workshops, we hope to invoke receptivity for a whole new look to their own dinner plate. And eventually, with support, there could be a whole new look to what’s being served in the school cafeteria.
Try an experiment. Say “Yes, and…”, or “Of course”, to seemingly impossible ideas offered by a friend, spouse or a co-worker, even if you don’t believe them. Try it! Amidst the creative “non-sense” that emerges, you may discover a simple, very do-able solution that’s been lurking there all along. They begin to appear when we retire the word “no” from habitual use.
About the CPPW Grant:
In spring 2010, Public Health – Seattle & King County was awarded two highly-competitive federal stimulus grants to address the leading causes of death in our region as part of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW). CPPW funds policy, systems and environmental changes that support residents in making healthier choices to reduce obesity and tobacco use; the main contributors to premature illness, death, and health care costs locally and nationally. The grant does not fund direct service, but instead supports projects like the creation of healthier food environments and spaces to be physically active.
Auburn School District Child Nutrition Services Department is coordinating the development of the Food Service Certificate Program - Discover. Cook. Nourish. created by Cookus Interruptus. Food service staff (150) in King County will gain skills and learn new recipes related to whole foods preparation.