Cooking for Education

Cooking for Education“Innovation, imagination, and creativity” are three words that prompted Andy Flachs to come up with the Quincy Branch Classroom Assistance Program.

Andy is a teacher at Camp Point, IL, Junior High School. The Camp Point school board offers
enhancement and technology grants and Andy borrowed their idea on a much smaller scale.

Being a teacher, he knows how important and how far a little money can go in a school year’s time. “Funding is tough in public schools and probably that much tougher in Catholic schools.  Even though $200 per project is not much, it still helps to fund imaginative, innovative and creative projects thought up by teachers. It is also a good idea to get teachers to think outside the box and to come up with projects to enhance students’ minds.”

He then had to created a way to raise money to support the program.

So he came up with the WCU Spaghetti Luncheon. The luncheon is held after the school year ends so he can take time to do his cooking. Andy loves to cook. “Cooking is fun and a release of frustration.  I like to cook for people who like good food.”  He believes his cooking skills came from his dad who volunteered to cook for his buddies in the Navy and still cooks today at the age of 80 for his wife.  “Dad always tells me, ‘you’re learning’ and that is so true because I am still learning, it never ends.”

This year the spaghetti luncheon was held on June 11, 2013, featuring all-you-can-eat spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, salad, dessert and drink.

Students from Quincy Notre Dame High School and students from Blessed Sacrament Youth Group, along with Blessed Sacrament’s Deacon Terry Ellerman, helped serve and bus tables during the event.

Also in attendance was the principal of Quincy Notre Dame, Mark McDowell. “For years, the WCU has been a terrific partner with local schools. The spaghetti luncheon provides funding to support teachers’ needs that would not otherwise be met. In the past year a number of our teachers have benefited from this program by ensuring that they were able to purchase equipment and materials to support their curriculum.”  “The ‘McDowell Five’ left the luncheon with full stomachs and smiles on our faces.  It is a great way to help educators and it allows various people within the community to share food and fellowship,” said Mark.

This has been a Matching Fund event held since 2006, raising $6,250. Over 30 projects were made possible through this program and the work, or we should say, the cooking will continue.