Woodstock High School students learn lesson in cooking, community service

WOODSTOCK - Students at Woodstock High School got more than just a lesson in cooking Wednesday as they prepared food for the Public Action to Deliver Shelter in Woodstock.

On Wednesday, Tami Robinette's Family and Consumer Science class learned the importance of giving as the students made macaroni and cheese for PADS, a division of Pioneer Center for Human Services that provides services for the homeless and other families in need.

Robinette said the cooking was a perfect opportunity to combine culinary skills with community service.

“The students have responded really well to the exercise,” she said. “Just knowing that we're helping people, especially with the holidays coming up, it's really important.”

The student council approached Roninette with the idea of using her class as a way to contribute to PADS, and Robinette jumped at the opportunity.

“They asked me if it was something I would like to do, and I said 'absolutely.'”

The macaroni and cheese is the second dish her class had made for PADS. Earlier in the year they made cookies.

Robinette said she plans on continuing her relationship with PADS and will make keep using her classroom as a way to give back to the community.

Enrique Layva is a junior in Robinette's class and said he has enjoyed making food for others, but can't help but be tempted to try some himself.

“Helping out people, especially since Christmas is coming up, it's a good feeling,” he said. “But you get that feeling like 'ah I still want to eat it.' It's macaroni and cheese. Who doesn't like macaroni and cheese?”

Amanda Paplham, also a junior, said she is glad to be learning new cooking skills while having the chance to help others.

“Some stuff I knew how to cook and other stuff I didn't,” she said. “It's a good feeling helping people out.”

Last year PADS served nearly 600 homeless individuals, according to the McHenry County PADS website. For more information about PADS go to

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