California Educator

APRIL 2010

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dents, teachers, parents and the surrounding community all fired up for a good cause — fighting hunger. Students and other volun- teers worked at an assembly- line pace in Tom Brown’s pot- tery class for more than four months to meet the goal of creating bowls for a March 11 fundraiser. A total of 700 col- orful bowls — some made on the wheel and some by hand — were filled with soup and sold for $10 apiece. Support poured in — the event raised $7,000, which was donated to the Temecula Community Pantry, the Temecula-Murri- eta Rescue Mission, and vic- tims of the Haiti earthquake. It was no easy feat for the students, who spent a few months learning how to “throw” bowls on the wheel, create coil ones by hand, and glaze them. Sometimes their creations did not survive the BELOW: Beautiful new pottery to raise money for the hungry. Students create pottery, donate to the hungry Y ou might say that it took a pottery class to get Temec- ula Valley High School stu- firing process, and they learned to cope with setbacks. “My s tudents practiced and prac- ticed and practiced, and every week their bowls got better and better,” says Brown with pride. “We in Temecula are fortu- nate to be teaching the best kids ever. They were so excit- ed to be involved and responded in such a large way. They never stopped working from the day I mentioned it.” The concept of Empty Bowls is a grassroots effort to raise money for the hungry. It began with an event at a high school in North Caroli- na and has spread across the United States and beyond, raising millions of dollars for anti-hunger organizations. The idea took hold at the campus a year ago when En- g l i s h t e a c h e r Me l i n e Akashian asked Brown to sponsor an Empty Bowls ABOVE: Kyle Amposta works a bowl on the wheel at Temecula Valley High School; stacked water bowls. fundraiser and he agreed. Then culinary arts teacher Jean Brown asked if she could pitch in by obtaining dona- tions of food, bread and other items from local restaurants and catering companies. The enthusiasm of the three Temecula Valley Edu- cators Association members quickly caught on with stu- dents, who offered to serve meals, sell bowls and assist as needed. The teens posted a promotional video on You- Tube, and created a Face- book page and a website to publ icize the event www. As the deadline loomed closer, oth- ers in the community visited Brown’s classroom af ter school and on weekends to 34 California Educator | APRIL 2010 make bowls, including ele- mentary school students and parents. Even the school’s principal, Rani Goyal, made a few bowls. Twelfth-graders working feverishly to complete their bowls on the last day of pro- duction took a few moments to reflect on the project that has united the school and community and what it has meant to them. “It’s given me the opportu- nity to be creative and do something that has a real pur- pose,” relates Alexis Thrift, a senior. “It’s fun and also good to help others, which makes it Photos by Scott Buschman

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