Out of School Hours program a success at OBK

April 20, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Sydney’s Our Big Kitchen has played host to over 1,000 NSW students from Gosford to Wollongong.

Enjoying the program

Enjoying the program

Out Of School Hours (OOSH) care centres attached to schools and various councils spent 3 hours at OBK where the participated in cookie making, challah baking and making fruit and vegetable skewers, drama and movement, and finally sports. Once the children have participated in each program they sit down together for story time followed by lunch of hot dogs and the fruit and vegetable skewers they made earlier.

According to OBK’s General Manager Greg Fisher, there has never been such a response to its holiday programs.

“On one day alone, we had 240 OOSH children plus 40 volunteers mainly from Moriah College as well as staff. Close to 300 people participated in what was a record attendance for one OBK program on one day. We had a number of dry-runs to ensure that we could conduct the program efficiently and safely. I was thrilled with the outcome for all” Mr Fisher said.

“Whilst OBK is non-denominational, we make it very clear that we are a Jewish organisation and explain what challah is. We are often asked why we have signs in our kitchen of “meat”, “dairy”, and “parev” and it provides an opportunity to explain a bit more about our culture. There is a great feeling of inclusion when we explain that we are not only kosher certified but also halal approved” Mr Fisher said.

“The central feature of our holiday program is chesed. We explain in story format that everyone should enjoy themselves and be happy with everything they receive. The bonus for the day is that part of what will be made by the children will be for them and the rest will be given to the clown doctor to make others happy or sent to a crisis centre. The kids love the concept of giving. In fact, at the end of the program we ask the children to write 3 of their favourite parts of the day and apart from cookie making which is always a winner, the kids express their love of giving”, Mr Fisher said.

Apart from the enjoyment factor, OBK is a practical educationist organisation. According to OBK founder and Director, Rabbi Doctor Dovid Slavin, education is always at the forefront of OBK’s thinking when creating new programs.

“The OOSH program teaches so much to so many. The program centres on the joy of giving. We tell the children a story which highlights the difficulties others may be having in the community and how it is possible to both have fun and help others. Our stories are interactive so we encourage the children to find out what countries other children come from and what their food or other cultural attributes are. We teach more than tolerance – we like to foster the concept of celebrating our differences”, Rabbi Slavin said.

The volunteers come from OBK’s own volunteer army of 700 people as well as from the schools.

“This holiday period most of the volunteers came from Moriah College as the students are required to perform a certain amount of community service. We are happy to support the schools with their community service initiative. Students who volunteer at OBK are given very clear instruction and are expected to perform their tasks efficiently and with enthusiasm so as to make participants in our programs have the best day possible. I have to say that the volunteers last week made OOSH happen. The school and the children’s parents should be very proud of them, just as we are grateful that they chose OBK to do their community work, Rabbi Slavin said.


One Response to “Out of School Hours program a success at OBK”
  1. Debbie Sleigh says:

    To the Our Big Kitchen team, congratulations on the fabulous and incredibly successful OOSH program!
    The educational concepts included in the program are wonderful, especially as they are about giving, joy, and the celebration of differences.

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