BY BILL LYONS
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- Participants of Eden II Programs' Honorable James P. Molinaro Center for Autism in Stapleton gathered outside their new kitchen Wednesday to make plans for their next cooking project, a double cheese pizza.
They had to decide whether to include pepperoni, meatballs, sausage or just plain cheese.
The cheese won out.
The group gets together every Wednesday to plan cooking projects. A recipe is put out for vote then ingredients are decided upon. They then make a trip to Shop Rite to buy what they need and return to Eden II to put it all together in the teaching kitchen.
This was all made possible by Members of Richmond County Referral Source, Inc. (RCRS), who last year hosted an Oktoberfest event at the autism center, which raised $10,000 for the teaching kitchen.
The teaching kitchen allows Eden II participants to learn daily life skills like cooking healthy meals, baking, doing dishes and putting away groceries.
"The kitchen is used every day by students who are working independently to cook their own meals, as well as by students who are at the most basic steps of simple utensil identification or learning how to stab with a fork or cut with a knife. It is these basic skills that all come together to allow our students to independently make their own lunch. This is the end goal of all of our teaching, so participants learn to not only make themselves a meal when they are home, but this could also generalize into a job in the food industry," said Jamie Arnold, Director of Educational Services.
Members of RCRS were visiting the facility for the unveiling of a plaque to be placed on the entrance to the kitchen and to see the kitchen in action and participate in a lesson with Eden II participants Meghan Mattei, Hassan Mohamed, Brianna Roberts and Rachel and Billy Irvine making cheeseburger sliders while learning about the students' daily lessons.
"I am very thankful that people from Richmond County Referral wanted to come and learn about our school. I was excited to have a cooking lesson with them" said Eden II participant Meghan Mattei, and in reference to cooking, "Don't think you can't do it, you can!"
Joe Arnone, chairman of the Oktoberfest event and member of RCRS, shared, "We're happy that the students will be able learn and develop life skills in and around the kitchen. Eden II does so many great things for so many wonderful students and it was an honor help raise funds for the Eden II teaching kitchen."
ABOUT RICHMOND COUNTY REFERRAL SOURCE, INC.
The Richmond County Referral Source, Inc. is a networking group of like-minded business owners and professionals.
Members pride themselves on their professionalism, expertise and service. Service to clients and customers is of primary importance to them, as well as their service to the community of Staten Island. Some members are independent professionals or represent family owned businesses, while others represent large corporations.
Full article at: http://www.silive.com/seen/2017/05/eden_ii_shows_off_10000_teachi.html
Members of Richmond County Referral Source, Inc. gather for a photo with Eden II participants near the new teaching kitchen at Eden II in Stapleton, Wednesday May 24, 2017. Joe Arnone, chairman of the Oktoberfest which raised $10,00 for the kitchen and participant Meghan Mattei hold a plaque thanking the group for the donation. (Staten Island Advance/ Bill Lyons)