There is a tremendous amount of information shared by volunteers and participants during Cooking Matters programming. Regardless of your volunteer role, our hope is that you feel confident about your ability to share information and ideas with our participants.
As a Cooking Matters volunteer wondering what information to share, the instructor guide is your best resource. This guide is designed to provide the foundation you need to lead engaging and effective courses that empower participants to select, purchase, and prepare healthy foods on a limited budget. The lesson plans are very thorough. Each one includes the over-arching goal, the lesson objectives that support the goal, suggested open-ended questions to facilitate conversation with participants, and activities.
The handouts in the Cooking Matters curriculum are full of excellent information. Given the importance of making the course interactive and tailoring the information to your participant group, we ask that you don’t attempt to read through every handout during class time. Instead, use some of the points on the handouts as conversation starters with participants. Highlight the handouts that will be useful references for participants once they get home.
Cooking Matters staff, your fellow volunteers, and the class participants can all be great resources.
Your own experience
We encourage you to draw on your own experiences as you are sharing information with participants. That said, remember to share those experiences in such a way that participants don’t feel like your way is the only way.
Use the sections in this online resource to learn how to effectively facilitate classroom lessons and connect with your audience. The videos embedded throughout this site will highlight the key behaviors and actions you can do each course to help make the experience as meaningful as possible for the participants. There is also an expert video collection that demonstrates how to teach many key Cooking Matters objectives.
If your local program partner offers an in-person training, be sure to attend and participate. Shadow a class if possible to see the format and observe experienced instructors.