Scratch Kitchen Olney to Provide Thanksgiving Meals to 130 Multilingual Learners at Gaithersburg High School

by MCS Staff

Scratch Kitchen opened it’s doors in Olney just a couple months back and the restaurant is already giving back to the community, generously providing a “true Thanksgiving meal”  for 130 new multilingual learners at Gaithersburg High School next week.

On Tuesday, November 22nd, Gaithersburg High School will host it’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch to the school’s newcomer multilingual learners. Per a community message sent out by Gaithersburg High School, “Every year, we invite our newcomer students to experience the true Thanksgiving meal during lunch on the day before our Thanksgiving break. This luncheon typically includes all of the newcomer students, our administrative team, our counseling team, and our English Language Development teachers. The goal is always to help our students feel comfortable breaking bread with school staff, and to help them experience an American tradition. It is typically the first time our students have tasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie.”

When asked about the event, Scratch Kitchen owner, Bernadette Rousseau, shared a quote by Shannon L. Adler with us.“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” When Rousseau saw the posting on Facebook from Gaithersburg’s English Language Development Resource Teacher, Melissa Porter-Parks, she knew she wanted to help. “I was raised in a family where we always had a seat or a few at my grandmother’s table for those who needed a meal.”

Rousseau tragically lost her daughter months before the scheduled opening of Scratch Kitchen– the restaurant that was leased for her daughter. “This tradition would be carried on with my daughter Angelina and our volunteer work with Girl Scouts throughout her childhood. While Angelina cannot be here, we will continue to give to others in her honor. We look forward to future opportunities to give back to others and make every member of the community know they are cared for.” Rousseau said.

Per Gaithersburg High School: “While the holiday is brand new to our students, the concept of gratitude is well understood. Our teachers in our newcomer classes spend time beforehand discussing gratitude and helping our students to reflect upon their own life experiences. Given how much many of our students have gone through, it is really important to establish relationships with our students and ensure they feel comfortable and supported at Gaithersburg.

More about our program:
• Gaithersburg High School has the largest population of Multilingual Learners in Montgomery County.
• We have enrolled 130 students since the school year began and in total we currently serve 691 Multilingual Learners.
• We also serve the largest population of SLIFE, students with limited and interrupted formal education.
• Many of these students did not attend school in their country.
We are very grateful for Bernie and the team at Scratch Kitchen in Olney for helping us to make this happen.”


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