Skyline Students Create ‘Social Good’ Campaign to Improve Food Security, Cultural Awareness
Skyline High School world language students worked together this school year to create a “social good” campaign to encourage more people to take action to address food insecurity for families in the region, teacher Lingou Jiang shared.
“Students create and then submit world language-related food preparation videos to the campaign's YouTube channel,” Jiang explained. “Donors, including non-profit organizations, local businesses, and parents, will make a donation to local partner food banks for every 50 views a student's video gets.” The students also decided to donate boxes of food favored by different cultures, in order to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Food connects us to the world and culture. This campaign aims to build a bridge between our students and communities, thus giving students the opportunity to use their world language proficiency to help families that are facing food insecurity,” she said.
Senior Josie Riskin created a cooking video about how to make Sichuan noodles to fulfill an assignment. “When my Laoshi (teacher) asked for me to turn it into a video for this campaign, I was more than thrilled! Apart from the food crisis many Americans face, cultural inclusion is often overlooked. This project targets both problems and aids in finding solutions,” Riskin said. “It was great being able to cook food from the language and culture I am learning about as well as help face current issues in my community.”
Learning Chinese has been one of her favorite parts of high school, she added, from studying the language itself to Chinese culture.
“I enjoyed using my knowledge of the Chinese language to help those in my community who need it,” Riskin said. “I hope we all can pitch in and help find solutions to problems in our community in the future.”
Junior Veronique Gunawan said she wanted to participate in the project because Chinese is important to her. “I wanted to share part of my culture so that we can share our love for one another's culture, as well as bring more understanding between our differences,” said Gunawan, who made a video about how to make taro mooncake that will be posted on the project’s YouTube channel soon. “I chose a dish that I like and thought other people would find simple enough to recreate. Mooncake is not very strong, so I believe that people would like to try it.”
Like Riskin, Gunawan said she enjoyed learning about not just the Chinese language but also learning about China’s geography and culture, including food. “I really hope that when people learn a language, they would also look into the culture so they can understand better the reasoning and beauty,” she added.
Junior Jason Dua, who made a video sharing how to cook takoyaki (octopus balls), said it was a fun project. “I simply added what I envisioned, and it turned out pretty great. I enjoyed making the video more than cooking because I liked to see the finished project,” Dua said.
“I think this (project) was important. ... I wanted to show some of the food and culture to show that I am happy I took Japanese,” he said. "I would encourage the community to try different foods, and go out of their comfort zone. You never know what you may like until you try it.”
To check out the videos created by students, visit their YouTube Channel.