STUDENT CREATIONS: Bloomfield High School students (from left) Amy Skinner, Jordan Arford, Will Scott, Jon Skinner, Zach Livingston, Camden Headley, and Jessie Chaney show off the bowls they created for Friday night's Empty Bowl dinner. It will be from 5-7 p.m. at the school. Below is an inside look at one of the bowls.
If you're looking for something different to do this Friday, some Bloomfield High School students may have just the thing to get your weekend started on a positive note.
Students in Bloomfield's Family and Consumer Science and art classes will offer an Empty Bowls dinner between 5-7 p.m. in room C226 -- the FACS kitchen room.
Art teacher Deb Johnson and FACS teacher Darla Bent came up with the idea after reading an article in American Profile, the weekly magazine that is inserted into the Greene County Daily World each Tuesday.
It was about an art teacher who had his students make bowls, then serve a dinner and offer the money to a charity.
"We got the idea from the magazine that is in your paper (each Tuesday)," Johnson said.
Johnson and Bent decided they'd like to do the same. So they wrote for and received a Learn and Serve grant that will help make the project possible.
Though the event is called an Empty Bowls dinner, visitors won't leave hungry. You'll have a choice between chili or ham and bean soup.
In compliance with the guidelines of the Empty Bowls Project, students from the art department created hand-made and hand-painted ceramic bowls that will be used for the soup dinner. The Family and Consumer Science (FACS) department students will use their culinary skills to prepare soup to fill the bowls and will serve soup to patrons.
"You're supposed to prepare some kind of meal and serve it in bowls, and then give the money to some kind of worthy cause. (Johnson) and I put our heads together and thought it would be a good activity for our two classes," Bent explained.
"She does bowls anyway, and I do the culinary classes. We thought we could get together and do this project."
Johnson said her students have enjoyed the project so far, and are looking forward to Friday's dinner.
"They've enjoyed the whole process. I gave them free rein as to what they wanted to create," Johnson explained. "I told them to think in terms of public appeal. What they may like, an adult might not. I wanted them to use their imagination, and they came up with a variety of things."
According to the Empty Bowls Web site -- www.emptybowls.net/EmptyBowlsProject.htm -- "The basic idea for Empty Bowls is simple. Participants create ceramic bowls, then serve a simple meal of soup and bread. Guests choose a bowl to use that day and to keep as a reminder that there are always Empty Bowls in the world. In exchange for a meal and the bowl, the guest gives a suggested minimum donation of $10. The meal sponsors and/or guests choose a hunger-fighting organization to receive the money collected. Any organization fighting hunger qualifies. Many groups choose to donate to organizations within their own community and others choose to give their donations to national or international hunger relief. We ask that groups participating in Empty Bowls send us information about their involvement for our archives.
"It is our intent that the Empty Bowls project maintain a high level of integrity; that it is a project of inclusion; that it cuts across social, political, racial, religious, age, and any other perceived boundaries; and that it provides a tool which we can all use in working towards the goal of ending hunger. We ask that some aspect of hunger education be part of your project."
Donations from the event will be offered to a local and national "feed the hungry" charity.
"The students are getting together to decide ... they're looking at some Internet sites," Bent said. "Most of my students would like to keep it local. ... I think they'd like to keep it in state or locally."
Students are asking for a minimum of a $10 donation (and you get to keep the bowl), and tickets can be purchased prior to the event from Bent or Johnson at the school during normal hours. They can also be purchased at the door Friday night.
You may want to get your tickets early.
"The only problem is, there are only 150 bowls. The kids are a little nervous about that," Bent said.
As a back-up, they will have Styrofoam bowls available.
There is a limit of one bowl of soup per ticket.
Johnson's students do a lot of community work. They painted murals on the wall of a former tire store on Bloomfield's east side, and they were at the public pool Tuesday doing the same.
They're asked to do so many projects they don't have time to get to them all.
"They're pretty pumped (about Friday) ... they're a good group of kids. They like helping the public and doing more community jobs."
Chris is the general manager/editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .