Darien Parks and Recreation Classes Go Virtual with Online Offerings

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Lisa Nelms of SproutChefs has taken her Darien Parks and Recreation classes online: Instead of offering hands-on classes in the Mather Center, the classes now come from Chef Lisa’s kitchen to the participant’s kitchens, by way of Zoom.

Chef Lisa Nelms Online Cooking Class Darien Parks and Recreation Department

Contributed photo

Chef Lisa Nelms of SproutChefs teaching a new Parks and Recreation Department online cooking class.

— an announcement from Darien Parks and Recreation Department

Classes are setup so kids can be the chefs and their parents can assist as sous-chefs. During the next upcoming session, participants may pick and choose from a variety of dessert classes offered every Friday at 3 p.m.

Enrollment is limited to 10 participants, so that individual attention can be given to each chef. The classes are scheduled to last an hour, but that may vary.

Some chefs finish early, while others may have more questions and want more time. The class will not end until the last participant has completed their recipe.

The classes are scheduled for the next five Fridays, April 24 through May 22. Each week will offer a different sweet, which include pies, cakes, cookies, crepes and fruit crumbles.

Check the menu schedule and information on the Darien Parks and Rec website on their NEW Virtual Programming webpage at www.darienct.gov/virtual or the SproutChefs blog at SproutChefs.com for this session as well as future sessions.

These sites will offer the recipe of the day, grocery lists, as well as the equipment needed for when the class begins. To keep people out of the grocery stores, the ingredients will usually be nonperishable ingredients, which may come out of a can, freezer, box or bag and fruits with long shelf lives.

Bradford Benton Woodshop program Darien Park and Rec online class

Contributed photo

Branford Benton building a game (called Shut the Box) in our new online Woodshop program.

Class sessions will continue online as long as there is “shelter in place” or as long as there is demand.

Chef Lisa’s background is in elementary education. Early in her career she taught first grade, where she guided nonreaders into becoming readers. She found different ways to teach reading without her students realizing they were getting a reading lesson.

Her connection between kids and food came when she started creating simple recipes with directions for her students to make in class. This provided a big incentive for following directions. They weren’t being graded with a check mark from the teacher, but a tasty treat, if made correctly.

Empowering children (and now youth) has always been a major part of Chef Lisa’s adult life. As times are changing, children may be called on more and more to become coworkers in the family workplace.

As a community, she would like for us all to work together in finding fun, productive and educational ways to get us through this current situation and beyond. Kids can be great helpers, if given the confidence and positive guidance to do so. Once a cook feels confident making cookies, they may be ready to next make simple dinners for the whole family.

More Classes

After having to make the painful decision to cancel our spring programming, Darien Parks and Recreation’s virtual offerings have grown and expanded in a matter of weeks to now include Woodshop, Guitar Lessons, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Mad Science and Ukulele Lessons.

The list continues to grow, so check the new webpage regularly as well as follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Parks and Rec partner organizations and instructors are also offering free prerecorded workout sessions and fun activities for families to enjoy together.

From the Park and Rec Website

See this Web page to follow the links shown in the illustration below:

Image list of classes, links

Image from the Parks and Recreation Department

What’s offered right now (go to the Web page to look for updates). Web links are in blue typeface.

Please note that virtual classes are offered through third-party applications (including but not limited to Zoom, YouTube & Facebook Live). The Town of Darien cannot exercise control over the security and privacy offered through these third-party applications.

Neither Darien Parks and Recreation nor its contracted instructors are endorsing these applications, but merely utilizing their services and will therefore not be held liable for any harm resulting from the use of these applications.

The platform being utilized by each program was selected by the instructor. The Town of Darien encourages you to read the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy of an application prior to committing to access and use.

If you decide to access these applications linked with our services, you do so entirely at your own risk.

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