Students make pottery for charity

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – For the past month, many Tupelo Middle School students have become potters for the first time.
They also have helped with one of Tupelo’s biggest community service projects.
The seventh- and eighth-graders created pottery in their art classes to be given away during the Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls Luncheon on March 9.
“It shows students that you can use your talents to help others,” said eighth-grade art teacher Ryan Curry. “It is a way they can learn to give back and see that art can help people.”
The school is able to participate for the first time this year thanks to a couple of grants, including $7,500 from the Association for Excellence in Education, that allowed it to buy pottery equipment and materials.
Attendees of the Empty Bowls Luncheon will pay $15 for a bowl of soup, a piece of bread, a bottle of water and a bowl created by an area potter. That money will be used to feed the hungry. The event is organized by the Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary.
Tupelo Middle School students made more than 100 such bowls.
“It was fun being a part of something and knowing you can do something for others, having hope for them,” said eighth-grader Hannah Little.
The seventh- and eighth-graders have combined to make the bowls and decorative items that will be attached to them. Salvation Army members also spoke to them about the importance of contributing to their community.
“It has been a win-win situation,” said seventh-grade art teacher Leah Patterson. “They have helped our kids understand that feeding the hungry really is a need. The kids have been able to give their service to support Empty Bowls, which is fantastic.”
It was the first time many students have created pottery.
“It has been fun,” said seventh-grader Gabby Spencer, 12. “We got to do a lot of different things like glazing and pottery and pinch pots and coil making.”
Hannah said it was a learning experience.
“It is a lot of fun doing something new,” she said. “We had no experience with this.
“When we started cleaning up, it was fun doing it all together. It felt like we could work at something together. It was like a family thing.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.