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Cooking program for visually impaired McAllen ISD students receives grant

With a new grant, McAllen ISD students who are visually impaired are now given the opportunity to learn to cook.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

With the help of a new grant, visually impaired students from McAllen Independent School District will now have the opportunity to learn to cook.

The grant money from the McAllen Education Foundation will go towards “Out of Sight Little Chefs”, a program started by Adrianna Maldonado, who teaches visually impaired students more than just cooking.

On Friday, Maldonado worked with third-grader Fernando Cruz of Thigpen-Zavala Elementary to make his favorite dish, pizza.

"The whole idea is just him having independence, going home helping mom with the dishes [and] cleaning,” said Maldonado. “[And] not having that person next to him the entire time, doing things on his own."

Special Education Aid, Terry Flores, said the program is a perfect way to teach students like Cruz how to be independent.

"I tell him, before he knows it, he'll be in junior high," said Flores. "So, this is the foundation for him to be better and function better and be his best when he goes to junior high.”

Cruz created the pizza by following a recipe that was in Braille, a coding designed for the visually impaired. He also used a tactical oven and tactical measuring spoons.

Cruz said though he enjoys cooking, he wants to be a soldier when he grows up.

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