Cilantro and Chive co-owner Rieley Kay poses with Terrace Ridge grade six students on March 10 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close. Photo courtesy of Cilantro and Chive

Cilantro and Chive co-owner Rieley Kay poses with Terrace Ridge grade six students on March 10 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close. Photo courtesy of Cilantro and Chive

Cilantro and Chive resumes school ice cream program after a break due to COVID-19

The program raised $1,090 for Terrace Ridge School after resuming in September

A program created by Cilantro and Chive that helps to raise money for local school programs has resumed. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the program went on hiatus last March but is now back.

What originally began as a partnership with a local student in Red Deer has now morphed into a collaboration between the restaurant and local schools.

The Ice Cream Sandwich program works by operating a “pop-up shop” at the school where students work to make and sell ice cream sandwiches for other students, staff and parents.

“It’s really inspiring and really exciting seeing some of these younger kids getting involved in this and taking the responsibilities and accountability of their task and holding each other responsible,” said Rieley Kay, co-owner of Cilantro and Chive.

Along with all the in-school sales, Cilantro and Chive also donates one dollar for every specialty ice cream sandwich purchased in the restaurant. The dessert that was sold this past fall was a play on black forest cake with two maraschino cherry cookies with chocolate ice cream and sprinkles.

The last pop-up shop took place on March 10 at Terrace Ridge School where grade six students worked to make 173 sandwiches for school members. Principal of the school Deborah Van Delden was impressed with how the students stepped up and took on leadership roles.

“In that moment, they kind of felt like they were running a mini business and they had so much fun,” said Van Delden.

“I think any adult can see there’s a ton of curricular connections and leadership growth for them.”

From September to November ice cream sandwiches were sold at Cilantro and Chive to support Terrace Ridge School.

In total, $1,090 was raised and was presented to faculty outside the school on Dec. 4.

The money will go towards replacing physical education supplies and resources that are needed in the school. The current equipment is well-used in the school of 327 students.

Van Delden said she is eager to expose students to as many physical opportunities as possible. With the funding, Van Delden has said the school will purchase items like indoor floor curling, nine square in the air and Don’t Walk in the Hallway floor stickers.

Don’t Walk in the Hallway is a company that makes floor decals that are different colours and shapes for students to skipt hop and jump to. It allows for movement in their everyday environment which is especilly important during the pandemic.

“It is a bunch of stickers, very similar to all the six feet apart stickers that we see everywhere now, but there are different shapes and colors and designs and and kids naturally wind up jumping and hopping and skipping and interacting with their environment that way,”said Van Delden.

“As a pilot one of the areas we’re thinking of is right outside our pre k doors which is a nice long stretch of hallway… so it’s an area that every kid travels every day.”

The program is currently working with Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus in the Town of Blackfalds to figure out a way to continue the program.

“We’re really hopeful that we’ll be able to set up in the school at some point in the future. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like that will happen in the next three months but we’ll just see how it goes and see if we can’t adapt and evolve to still be able to have the kids involved,” said Kay.

The newly created “Superhero” ice cream sandwich features strawberry, banana and blueberry ice cream with two house-baked double chocolate cookies and is topped with bubblegum whipped cream. This sweet treat will be sold for the next three months at Cilantro and Chive.

Despite the pandemic, Kay wants to make sure the program finds a way to continue.

“The one thing that I do know is we will definitely continue this program in one fashion or another,” said Kay.

“We want to try and help support raise awareness for our schools, and the systems that they need funding for, without a question,”