Laton High School launches virtual after-school programs

A Central Valley high school is finding new ways to adapt their after school programs amid the pandemic.
LATON, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central Valley high school is finding new ways to adapt their after school programs amid the pandemic.

Sophomore David Rodriguez started cooking a year ago.

"There was a couple things I could do, but I heard cooking, and that was really interesting," said Rodriguez.

The Laton High School student was first introduced to the hobby when he started cooking in Chef Tyler's after-school culinary arts class.

"It's more than culinary arts," said instructor Tyler Curran. "I want them to believe they can do something they've never done before."

When Laton High School had to stop their after-school programs due to COVID-19, they decided to launch their Expanded Learning Program. It allows students to take part in free after-school activities, virtually.

"I'm a chef, so you give me lemons I'm going to make anything you want out of it, so it was like OK challenge accepted," said Curran.

As part of the program, Laton High offers students after school tutoring, homework assistance, and enrichment activities, including the popular culinary arts course.

"We were doing hula burgers. We're doing some top-notch stuff around here," said Curran. "This is not just a normal cooking class."

Rodriguez has his sight set on becoming a chef and has taken his talent to TikTok, posting short cooking videos, and gaining over 70,000 followers.

"I really enjoy it," said Curran. "I've learned something new about cooking. I always learn something new from Chef Tyler. He always cooks really good food, and I'm always looking and seeing what he does."

They're hoping more Laton High students will join in on the fun and plan to start a web design course in the coming months. For more details on the program visit their website.
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