Empty Bowls Full Hearts

BY Jeremiah Nickerson

Monomoy Regional Middle School

Project Description

Last year, Monomoy Middle School hosted an event titled “Empty Bowls, Full Hearts” to raise funds for the Monomoy Market, the school’s food pantry. Similar to “Soup Bowls for Hunger”, this event was a donation based dinner organized by the schools unified arts department with food being provided by the school cafeteria. Last year bowls were purchased by the school and decorated by students for the event. As the new art teacher, my goal is to have the students create the bowls themselves, in order to provide a more personal touch to the event. I intend to have two classes of 25 students create numerous bowls each, allowing the donors to have a keepsake of the event, and hopefully increase the amount of money raised. The students at MRMS have had minimal ceramics experience in years past, so I hope to use this as a valuable learning experience where they will learn more about functional pottery as well as community engagement.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

The success of my plan will be based on the ability of the students to create enough bowls to support the event (roughly 200), as well as the amount of funds raised for the pantry. Last March the event raised roughly $1800, despite the overhead cost of purchasing all of the bowls. I believe that the fundraiser will be more successful because of the personal touch of student created bowls, as well as the additional money saved my creating them ourselves.

Benefit to the students and the school

Students will learn about functional pottery, I will teach various techniques of creating bowls, as well as the science behind how properly firing the clay in the kiln will create a surface safe for eating. The school will reap the benefits of raising money for the food pantry as well as enhancing our relationship with the community.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The event will be scheduled for late March. Beginning in early November students will be taking my pottery seminar class where they will learn about ceramics and begin creating bowls, the objective being to create as many bowls as possible in between that time.