Empty bowls fill need for the hungry here, abroad

 Messenger photo by Dianne Schultz

Students at Jonathan Alder Junior High in Plain City will cook up a unique way to fight world hunger during the school’s “Celebration of Learning” May 8. Art students have decorated bowls for a dinner to be held that night. They include: (front row, from left) Amanda Carper and Sadie Moser; (back row) Sean Branam, Samantha Johnson and Jamie Stottlemyer.

Parents, students and other community members who visit Jonathan Alder Junior High’s “Celebration of Learning” on May 8 will have a chance to fund food supplies to fight world hunger.

Donations made at the celebration’s “Empty Bowl” dinner will benefit not only the Plain City Food Pantry but also hunger relief efforts in West Africa.

Soup, salad, bread, dessert and beverages are on the menu. The meal will be served in the cafeteria and the cost is $10. In addition to enjoying the meal, diners will take home food-safe “empty bowls” hand-painted by students. Meals offering the same menu but served in plastic bowls will be $5 each.

The dinner is a collaborative project between the school’s Giraffe Community Service Club, which benefits local needs, and the school’s “O Ambassador” Global Perspective Club, whose focus is West Africa. Jonathan Alder Junior High is one of 700 schools nationwide selected to participate in Oprah Winfrey’s philan-thropic and educational O Ambassador Foundation.

The Empty Bowl dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in conjunction with displays and programs featuring work completed by students during the school year.

Students’ work from all curricular areas will be on view from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Musical performances and demonstrations will be held in the auditorium between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Twenty-minute information classes for parents on Internet safety will be conducted in the library from 7:05 to 8:15 p.m.

“It’s a unique evening to come out to the school to see the great accomplishments of our students this year and eat as a family while aiding some good programs,” said Harriett Merriman, teacher-leader at the junior high.

Merriman wrote the initial letter to Winfrey that led to the school’s selection as an O Ambassador school. Merriman will retire from the school district at the end of this school year; she said the school’s continuance as an O Ambassador school next year will depend on someone new taking the lead.

“The designation of an O Ambassador Club is only for a year and applications must be submitted each year for the program. The Giraffe Community Service Club is our own program here at the school and that will continue. We don‘t have to reapply for our Giraffe Club,’’ Merriman said.

Jonathan Alder Junior High is located at the corner of Kilbury-Huber and State Route 42, south of Plain City. Call 614-873-4635 for more information about the Celebration of Learning and the Empty Bowl dinner.

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