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"Quarantine Cookbook" Capstone Project by Cat Nickles On "Kelly and Ryan Live"

Cat Nickles, a recent grad from The Children's School, is getting lots of attention -- and raising lots of money -- through her 8th grade Capstone Project.

Originally, Cat had planned to host a pop-up diner in the TCS gynasium to raise money for Beyond Hunger, a local area food pantry. However, Covid 19 changed her project plans entirely. Stay-at-home orders required her to pivot her project to "plan b." So she decided, instead, to create her own comic-style cookbook modeled after the book "Let’s Make Ramen" by Hugh Amaro and Sarah Becan. One of the authors actually served as a mentor through Cat's project.

Cat's cookbook was so popular, it has appeared in several local new media outlets (see the list of links below). Her pdf "Quarantine Cookbook" was also featured on Thursday, June 18th, on the ABC show, "Kelly and Ryan Live."

Just before the broadcast, Cat had raised more than $7,000 for our local food pantry, Beyond Hunger. The show contributed $5000 additional dollars to Beyond Hunger on Cat's behalf, courtesy of producer Michael Gelman, and after the show, additional contributions rocketed the total amount to $16,270 at the time of this post! Cat's original fundraising goal had been $1000!

To get a pdf of your own "Quarantine Cookbook" and to donate to Cat's cause in helping Beyond Hungerm CLICK HERE.

Capstone Projects are a unique aspect of our Middle Level program at TCS. In their final year, each 8th-grade student chooses and conceptualizes their own topic for a major independent work. They execute the planning, research, and project construction, which all culminate in a public presentation. Cat's is perhaps the most public presentation, to date, and was one of many excellent projects this year that spanned topics including equity in education, political polarization, and support animals.

For more information on Cat's Project, or on the middle school program at The Children's School, please email

More Media on Cat Nickles' "Quarantine Cookbook"

Wednesday Journal

Chicago Parent

Oak Park Eats Newsletter

Whitney Reynolds Show

The Echo Show: Echo Theater Collective

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