Cooking Class, June 20

With Tennille Murphy, Founder of Kidz Kook Association

Join Tennille Murphy in a cooking class centered around parts of the traditional Juneteenth meal and how soul food originated.

Tennille Murphy

Tennille Murphy was born in the city of New Haven and received her education in Hamden Public Schools. She grew up in the town of Hamden and resided there until her early 20’s. She jokingly declares that “my little legs would cross the city line into Newhallville, New Haven most of my adolescent and teen years”. At the age of 19 years, she found her calling at the Dixwell Community House as a Children's Program Aide in an after- school program. Beloved Director Ted Hogan changed her life because he took a chance on her. She knew then that she would mentor and educate disadvantaged youth. Notwithstanding, Tennille fostered lasting relationships with residents and the families of the children she served. She formed loving and esteemed relationships with prominent community members and leaders. Needless to say, her heart is in Newhallville. She has mentored and educated hundreds of New Haven youth. For 20 years, she has had the opportunity to watch a multitude of children flourish into respected adults. Unfortunately, she witnessed a few lose their lives to gun violence, but the pain keeps the flame of dedication lit within her to make a change.

With a passion for education, literacy, and community activism since high school, Ms. Murphy now holds 3 degrees in the area of education. In 2012, Tennille became the Founder and Health Educator of Kidz Kook Association, Inc., a non- profit organization that teaches youth and low-income families how to eat and how to prepare healthy, delicious, and affordable meals. Tennille has an amazing teaching style that incorporates STEM, Art, and Literacy into teaching cooking, gardening, and nutrition to her participants. For example, she can take a child’s favorite book such as Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and teach children food art by making a butterfly with fresh fruit.

Nearly 8 years ago Tennille begin teaching cooking classes in her home. Her mission has outgrown her kitchen and now Tenille Murphy can be seen at numerous community events or school programs throughout the city, armed with fun-themed nutritious recipes, shopping carts, and cartons full of ingredients, some donated by local businesses, family, and friends, but most paid for out of her pocket. Children and families line up to take their turn preparing assorted healthy meals and snacks to eat on location or make at home. The twist to her teaching is that Kidz Kook and its members take what they have learned and give back to the community. Children in her program have been seen preparing 300 sandwiches and meals to feed the elderly or homeless.

She also supports and is a member of many local organizations including the Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven and the Black Holocaust Museum Committee. She seldom hesitates to lend a helping hand and is well-known for being a dedicated, committed, sincere, compassionate, and hard worker.

With a heavy load of two full-time jobs , and a science major college student to raise, Tennille successfully graduated this past May, with a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a devoted mother of 1 child, her daughter, Iyana who is pursuing her dream to be a medical doctor.