A pipe cleaner here, maybe a funny hat there, combined with a set of googly eyes would make for an interesting wooden spoon.
For a fifth-grade class at High Plain Elementary School class, that artistic touch went one step further, capturing first place for the students in Project Bread’s annual Holiday Spoons project.
Teacher Shannon Siviski’s class received the most votes from the public for its spoon-decorating talents in the online contest. The win earned the students group tickets to a private screening at a Jordan’s Furniture IMAX theater.
This is the 14th year Jordan’s Furniture has teamed with Project Bread to sponsor the Holiday Spoons Project, which has raised money to help feed the hungry and taught children about hunger in Massachusetts for nearly 20 years.
Children across the state participated by turning ordinary wooden spoons into works of art, which they then sold to raise money to support hunger-prevention programs throughout the state. This year’s initiative brought in nearly $15,000.
To win the Jordan’s IMAX viewing prize, Siviski’s students submitted photos of their decorated spoons to Project Bread. The class’ entry received the most votes over a three-week period.
But what the students took away from the contest was more than just the chance to see a movie.
“The spoons project was a great way to show the world we care,” student Rebecca Chou said in a release, a sentiment echoed by several of her classmates.
It was “so inspiring helping people who are hungry and learning how kids like us can help them overcome it,” fellow student Alixandra Turner said,
Student Haley Katz added that Project Bread “has inspired me to keep helping people throughout my life.”
Ellen Parker, executive director of Project Bread, said “hunger and poor nutrition have lasting effects on our community. The Holiday Spoons project helps children learn about the issues of hunger and how they can be part of the solution.”
Project Bread provides a curriculum for Holiday Spoons participants. Each individual lesson teaches children about who is affected by hunger, the importance of a healthy breakfast, ways to help people who face hunger and more.
“Incorporating the Holiday Spoons Project into our schedule and curriculum was one of the best decisions I’ve made as a teacher,” Siviski said in the release. “Not only did the students have fun, work together and let their creativity run wild, but they also learned how fortunate they are and how many are not and that sometimes the best gift is to give to others rather than to receive.”