Cake decorating class at Northeast Philly rec center helps kids connect

Justin Udo
February 09, 2019 - 4:00 am
Kathleen Tunney leads a free cake decorating class at the Picariello Recreation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Eleven-year-old Catherine LeCompte knows exactly what she wants to do with her future. 

"When I grow older, I want to be a baker," she said.

For the last two years, she has been taking cake decorating classes every Thursday at the Picariello Recreation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

"I just like to bake and decorate and stuff," she added, "so I think (the class) helps me a lot."

Catherine's instructor, Kathleen Tunney, said the class — which is free for kids aged 8 and up — does more than just teach participants different cake decorating techniques and designs.

"We get to listen to each other, what each others' struggles are, what they like to do, what they want to do with their lives," she explained.

Catherine said she's taken what she's learned at the program and put it to use at home. She's even shown her mom a thing or two.

"I've taught her how to spread the icing and do the tips," she said.

Tunney said she tries to make the program and the decorating process as therapeutic as possible.

"It's really relaxing sometimes to make cakes," she said, "and try to decorate it and just get into it, instead of thinking about anything else."