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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Sylvania: Highland Elementary students help food program


Second graders at Highland Elementary School have made about 120 brightly-colored bowls that will be used for the second Empty Bowls-Full Hearts meal at the school on Wednesday.

The youngsters created the bowls as part of the project that raises funds for a local food program as well as raises the consciousness of the community about the needs of many in the area.

Cindy Bandfield, a second-grade teacher at the school, got the program started last year in an event that raised about $1,700 for the Agape Soup Kitchen and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. She said the funds came from donations from those who attended the luncheon.

The idea is that guests at the luncheon will buy a bowl with the donation and then be served soup. For health reasons, the school-made bowls are used as a symbol, but can be taken home by those who make a donation.

This year, as last year, there will be bowls made by the Toledo Potters' Guild that will be available for sale at auction. This year there will also be some made by local notables, including Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough.

This year art students at Northview High School have also made bowls that will be available for a donation.

Kevin Gorman, Northview principal, said he thinks the program is a good reminder to students in the Sylvania schools that there are many people who don't have the same advantages as many of them.

About 20 to 25 Northview art students will go to the Wednesday event at Highland to help out. Mr. Gorman has also invited principals and art teachers at the Northview feeder elementary schools to attend. Eventually, he said, he would like to see the program spread systemwide.

Joy Brown-Latimer, the Highland art teacher, said her second-grade students were excited by the project.

"They all used clay to form the bowls, and then they were fired in the kiln. Then they painted them and fired them again,'' she said. The youngsters also signed the inside bottom of the bowls.

It gave the children a good feeling to know they are helping others she said.

Ms. Bandfield said the idea is a simple one, but was embraced by people at the school last year. Now, she said, it is beginning to become difficult to manage, "but I've had a lot of help.''

The event has brought a sense of community to the students and others at the school, she said and that is beginning to grow with the inclusion of Northview and other schools in the district.

The lunch is at 2:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at the school.

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