The Junior League of Phoenix's Kids in the Kitchen program

2016 Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Community Impact Award Winner

JL Phoenix KITK

The Junior League of Phoenix

The Junior League of Phoenix's Kids in the Kitchen program aims to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues. They offer hands-on nutrition and exercise education, with a diverse portfolio of programming that has grown exponentially since it began in 2005.

The program has grown from one Chef working with five girls in 2005, to twelve events and 1200+ kids impacted in 2014-15. This has happened largely as a result of a strong partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, which has provided the program both facility space and the ability to drastically increase the number of children the League is able to reach.

JLP currently offer KITK programming through four types of events:

  1. Monthly small-group lessons of a League-developed, standards-based nutrition curriculum (Current mastery level: 87%)
  2. Large events where participants rotate through experiential stations (Current mastery level: 92%)
  3. Public ‘booth’ events that engage youth in short demonstrations while providing educational tools to parents in English and Spanish. (Participation: 710 youth in 2014-15)
  4. Diabetes-friendly cooking classes that supply Native American families on the Salt River Reservation with diabetes management and prevention techniques, kid-friendly recipes and take-home meals. (New in 2015; 50 participants)

The Junior League of Phoenix has lofty goals for continued program expansion. Future plans include a "Train the Trainer" event in Spring 2016 for youth development leaders from the Boys and Girls Club, and a Nutrition and Health Day event for 2016-17.