Kathy Parker’s enthusiasm is unmistakable when she talks about children and cooking. Parker teaches the popular Kids in the Kitchen series at Waxahachie Lighthouse for Learning, offering children an opportunity to create tasty delights all while learning and making new friends.

“The kids learn reading, following directions, measuring and problem solving. It covers everything – science, math, reading,” she said of the hands-on instruction. “Part of the goal is socialization.”

Parker is in her third year as a Lighthouse instructor of classes for kids. She has 26 years teaching experience – 20 of those years with kindergarteners.

“I think when people look at Lighthouse for Learning, it’s about adult (classes) and they don’t think about classes for kids,” Parker said. “The kids always enjoy themselves and it is a great opportunity for parents to have a break.”

She said all of the classes are popular with the kids and one of the favorites is Cupcake Creations, where students mix and color the icing and decorate cupcakes from pre-selected designs. Parker said some children like to take cupcakes home to show their parents, while others eat it all before walking out the door.

“To me the best part is seeing the excitement on their faces. I love when they say, ‘I want to come to all your classes,’ ” she said. “I just enjoy being with the kids.”

There are five topics for the spring semester with the first class starting Feb. 28.

Cupcake Creations – Students ages 5-12 create deliciously cute creatures from the simple cupcake in the Marvin cooking room, Monday, Feb. 28. The cost is $26.

Super Snacks – This class will help children ages 5-12 prepare easy and nutritious snacks in the Marvin cooking room that are fun to make and fun to eat, Monday, March 28. The cost is $26.

Super Smoothies – Kids ages 5-12 learn to whip up some nutritious and delicious smoothies in the Marvin cooking room, by chopping, dicing and blending their way to healthy and refreshing goodness, Monday, May 9. The cost is $26.

Edible Art – Get messy, creative and have fun in the Marvin cooking room with each and every one of these edible (if not tasty) food items as participants make doughs, clays, paints and pretty pictures that are easy and fun for ages 5-12, Monday, April 18. The cost is $26.

Cooking up a Story – Each month students ages 5-9 will gather in the Marvin library to hear stories from favorite authors and then they will proceed to the Marvin cooking room to cook up snacks related to the stories. Topics change weekly and include Winter Fun, Texas-Our Texas, Going Buggy and Dig Those Dinosaurs. The class meets March 7, March 21, April 4 and May 3. The cost is $70 for all four classes.

Parker encourages parents to register early; classes are limited to 10 kids.

Waxahachie Lighthouse for Learning is a cooperative effort between WISD, the Texas A&M Extension Agency, Master Gardeners and other individuals, organizations and businesses in the community. Spring semester course catalogs are available at businesses throughout the community, at the Waxahachie Daily Light, local libraries, chambers of commerce and are being distributed to WISD elementary students to take home.

Online registration with credit card payment is available at http://WISD.revtrak.net. To pay with cash or check, students can register in person or by mail at 411 N. Gibson St. Registration is accepted from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For individuals who can’t fit on-site classes into their busy schedules, an online program offers an extensive selection of courses. Visit www.ed2go.com/lighthouse to register. Click on the orientation link and follow the instructions to enroll and pay for the course.

For additional information, contact Melissa Cobb at mcobb@wisd.org or call 972-923-4631, ext. 142.

Contact Rebecca at rhertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.