Local Program Offers Prizes for Kids in Holiday House Engineering Contest

Teach for America DFW is teaming up with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Texas Instruments and a local bakery to help kids stay busy at home

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As students prepare to take some time off from school for the holidays, a local nonprofit is working on ways to kick off winter break in a safe and delicious way.

Right now, Teach for America DFW is teaming up with the Perot Museum, Texas Instruments and a local bakery for their "Home for the Holidays" program featuring a holiday house engineering contest.

Students kindergarten through 12th grade can build and enter their own edible holiday homes to win several prizes.

Participants can use anything edible for their creations, as long as they use graham crackers. Organizers said gingerbread is a welcome ingredient but can be pricey so graham crackers are a much more affordable alternative.

The entire program is free and virtual. Next Thursday Dec. 17, the experts at Kuluntu Bakery in Oak Cliff are hosting a Zoom call to announce the winners and teach families how to make their famous hot chocolate.

“I’m one of the judges so I’m going to be looking for creativity, really thinking outside the box and making something unique," said Stephanie Leichtle-Chalklen, owner of Kuluntu Bakery. "I know that we have another judge that is an engineer and he or she may be looking for something a little bit more technical."

Leichtle-Chalklen said it's important for families to find safe ways to bring normalcy to the holiday break.

"I think this is a good opportunity to slow down, think about what you can do in your home with what you have in your home. And just make new traditions," she said.

The deadline for students to apply is this Monday, Dec. 14. Click here to sign up.

Teach For America DFW has nearly 40% more teachers in the area this year to support students throughout the pandemic. The organization places teachers into some of the most under-served, low-income schools across the country.

The organization has nearly 2,000 leaders in schools throughout North Texas.

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