School’s Soup Bowl Project Benefits Sunshine Fund

School’s Soup Bowl Project Benefits Sunshine Fund
Dozens of creations were available for sale at last week’s annual Soup Bowl Project at Berlin Intermediate School. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Students at Berlin Intermediate School gathered for a good cause last week as the school hosted its eighth annual Soup Bowl Project.

Last Thursday, students, parents, teachers and community members visited Berlin Intermediate School (BIS) for the Soup Bowl Project. Visitors purchased bowls made by BIS students and then enjoyed a meal together. Proceeds from the event benefit the BIS Sunshine Fund, which is used to help students in need.

“Our children are making bowls for charity,” said Kathi Stevens, art teacher at BIS. “For a lot of them it’s their first experience making something to give away.”

According to Stevens, the event began years ago after her parents donated funding for a kiln to the school’s art program. As students have had the opportunity to create pottery in the years since, staff came up with the idea of having students sell their projects as a fundraiser.

“They’ve made a piece of art and given it up,” Stevens said. “They’re giving back in more than one way.”

While many students came to last week’s dinner to buy their own bowls, many of the bowls were purchased by teachers and community members. Sixth-grader Anika Karli came to buy the bowl she’d made but said she’d first become aware of the project last year, when she’d purchased a bowl made by an older student.

“I think it’s a really cool idea,” she said.

Karli said that to make their bowls, students started with a hunk of clay and then spent hours shaping and designing bowls before they were eventually fired and glazed. Karli said what she most enjoyed about the project was how creative it allowed her to be.

“You get to design it like you want,” she said.

Principal Ryan Cowder said the Soup Bowl Project provided students with a valuable art experience as well as the opportunity to support a positive cause.

“I love it because with us being an arts immersion school, it gives the kids something really neat to put their hands on,” he said. “They’re proud of their bowls and it’s for a good cause. It’s an art project, and without knowing it they’re helping other kids. It’s a win-win.”

The money raised by the sale of the bowls at Thursday’s dinner goes into the BIS Sunshine Fund. In the past, the fund has been used to buy things like winter jackets and backpacks for students who might not otherwise have them.

“Every year we identify kids in need and figure out ways to help them,” Cowder said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.