Inspired by the children’s book Stone Soup, the Grade 6/7 class at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Chemainus has been working hard to create change in their community and abroad.
The students created a project called “Operation Stone Soup” to raise money to support numerous causes, including Free the Children’s Initiative projects, building schools for third-world countries, and for the local food bank, Harvest House.
The students hosted a fundraising event Sunday, May 4 as part of their project, serving homemade vegetarian soup they had made together and each contributed ingredients towards, and they auctioned off clay bowls they had wedged, formed and decorated with help from artist Miss Ewa.
“The amount of effort put into this by the students is unbelievable,” said Grade 6/7 teacher Brenda Hennig. “Even through some of the bumps along the way, they have kept going.”
“Operation Stone Soup” has been driven by the students.
To prepare for Sunday’s lunch, they made more than 91 bowls by hand and made soup for 100 people.
Grade 7 student Maggie Boese-Ezard says they were inspired to do this project after reading Stone Soup, a book in which a hungry and tired stranger asks villagers for food and keeps hearing no. Finally, he asks for a pot of water to boil and starts making stone soup. He says the soup would be much better if everyone contributed something to it, and the villagers who said they didn’t have any food for him start adding ingredients.
“They realize how much fun it is to share,” said Boese-Ezard. “When we read the story, we realized there are hungry people in our community. They don’t always want to go to a food bank, so we thought why don’t we have a lunch.”
Sharing education is also part of the project, and the money raised for Free the Children is going to an organization that builds schoolhouses all over the world, explained Neav Williams-Murphy, who is also in Grade 7. That money will buy bricks for the schoolhouses, as well as items such as chalkboards.
Williams-Murphy says the project has been a lot of fun.
“I liked making the bowls,” she said. “It was fun to do all the designs for them.”
Making the bowls was also Grade 7 student Stephanie Laidlaw’s favourite part of the project.
“My favourite part was probably chopping all the vegetables and making the soup,” noted Boese-Ezard.
The students were excited to see so many people come out to their fundraising lunch.
“It feels pretty cool to know so many people came out for this,” said Williams-Murphy.
The Grade 6/7 class has raised $907 through “Operation Stone Soup,” and they expect to raise even more.