PORT EWEN – There was no shortage of sweetness at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center on Thursday, December 6th. An annual tradition brought together the Center’s smallest and tallest students for a heartwarming experience. High school students from across Ulster County paired up with preschool children from the on-site Childcare Center to decorate gingerbread houses.
The older students are studying Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Pastry Arts. They worked patiently with the younger children to help them apply colored icing and candy trimmings to their projects. Each preschool child gets to take home his or her creation.
While the activity was fun for both ages, it also had an educational component for the preschoolers, who were unknowingly exploring geometry by using squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, and other varieties of candy shapes.
The annual activity is a collaborative effort of Pastry Arts instructor Irene Powell and Childcare Center coordinator Kristi Cusa.
The Ulster BOCES Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Pastry Arts program, one of the finest food preparation courses offered to high school students in New York State, helps participants to develop the professional skills, work habits, and attitudes required by the hospitality industry.
The Ulster BOCES Childcare Center provides high-quality early education services for children from eight weeks to five years old. Clients include children of Ulster BOCES students enrolled in the Parenting Teen and Adult & Continuing Education programs, Ulster BOCES employees, and the general community. It also serves as a hands-on learning environment for high school students interested in pursuing careers in the childcare field.