GLENVIEW – Students and staff in District 34’s Lyon school were hard at work throughout the school year crafting handmade ceramic bowls and learning how, together, they can help others in their community who struggle with hunger.
On November 15, everyone in the community was invited to visit Lyon School and purchase the handcrafted bowls and receive a simple meal of soup and bread. All money raised from the dinner was then donated to the Northfield Food Pantry. Coined Empty Bowls, this event is part of a grassroots movement that began over 25 years ago by artists to end hunger. Its purpose is to be a community-based program to provide food locally for those in need.
“In the art room, I emphasized that as a community we are powerful. Even though hunger is a big problem, together, we can do more to solve the problem than we could as individuals,” said Lyon School Art Teacher Mary Tapia. “I also wanted them to experience how their art can communicate a powerful message. Through the Empty Bowls Soup Supper, their art can have an impact on their everyday lives and the lives of those in their community.”
At least four students worked on every bowl to emphasize the collaborative community in the creative stage as well as the activism stage. Tapia also used the photograph by Dorothea Lange “Migrant Mother” as an example of art that communicates a message and also impacts the lives of a community. This was also used as a starting point for discussion about hunger and poverty.
“I think it is so important for our students and school community to experience how giving their time (their art making) can be impactful in their own community. It helps them grow in empathy learning about hunger and poverty in their own neighborhood. It empowers them to be the catalyst for change and contribute to their community,” Tapia said.
Tapia also reflected on the event itself, noting the power behind this community- building event.
“But the growth in understanding what happens along the way is just as amazing. They are too young to really grasp the depth of the issue of poverty and hunger. But they are not too young to grow in empathy and understanding,” she said.
Superintendent Dr. Dane Delli spent the day with students and staff at Henking Elementary as part of his ongoing tours of the schools. His time in the building during the week of November 13 spanned all grade levels, subject areas, and types programming. He also had joined students for lunch and recess.
Also of note, students from Glen Grove Elementary won first place in the 3rd grade division during last week’s Illinois State Chess Championship. The tournament took place in Peoria and more than 250 children competed overall.
In the 2nd Grade division, Westbrook Elementary finished second. Individually, Nicholas Ladan from Attea Middle School tied for 1st in the 7th grade division. Humza Khan, from Springman Middle School, tied for 2nd place in the 8th grade division.
Full results can be found here.