Getting a taste for learning
TAMPA - The kids at the Learning Experience in Oldsmar are putting their culinary talents to the test this week. While vendors from many of Oldsmar's finest restaurants will be offering their finest at the Tiny Taste of Oldsmar on Saturday, the kids are learning plenty about what goes into cooking a great meal. The Tiny Taste of Oldsmar event, held by the Learning Experience at their campus, 3933 Tampa Road, June 29 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. with free food and activities, along with a bounce house and carnival games. Expected vendors include Chick-fil-A, Coach Carlson's Field of Dreams, Pizza Fusion, Tijuana Flats, The Lucky Dill, Countryside Country Club, Walmart, Burger 21, Gatti Town and more. But the kids at the Learning Experience turned their summer camp into Culinary Week, thanks to working with Oldsmar's Famous Pizza where they learned how to spin dough on their own hands. Their food won't be on display at the event, but they learned a lot. Business Manager Jason Lowe said the Culinary Week is just one of many themed events that will be going on through the summer."The whole Culinary Week thing was just a brainchild," Lowe said. "We have 65 kids and we are just starting." There are plenty of plans to keep the kids busy all summer. Local businesses, including Home Depot, are chipping in to add to their summer fun and it's paying off. After the kids built with supplies furnished by the Home Depot, Lowe said that he didn't know who enjoyed the projects more - the kids or the parents. "We have a different theme every week," Lowe said. "It's the same throughout center. We have things for the kids to do all the time and they never get bored." Future weekly themes include space, magic, art and science, where The Museum of Science and Industry will lend their expertise. The Learning Experience will celebrate its second anniversary in July. Director Becky Shield said that she's been in the Tampa Bay area for a long time and can't imagine how far the Learning Experience has come in so little time. "I have been in North Tampa for nine years now and I have never seen anything like this," Shield said. "We stress academics and the nurturing of our staff." The Learning Experience is also into philanthropy and works closely with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lowe said he has his mind on other charities as well. There are other special programs at the Learning Experience, including a foreign language program. Lowe said that he has no plans to leave the Learning Experience. "This place is special with special kids," Lowe said. "These kids are happy and doing things besides playing video games. It's a happy experience. I have to drive quite a way to get here, but it's all worth it." The Learning Experience is located at 3933 Tampa Road in Oldsmar.