Being a positive light

Published 12:31 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Providence School hosts 12th annual Empty Bowls event

Liz Spurlock proposed an idea 12-years-ago that would provide students at the Providence School in Wilmore with a service learning project. Now, a yearly tradition, Spurlock said the Empty Bowls project grew from her background and love for ceramics.

“Mrs. Adams was familiar with my background in Ceramics and she supported my attempt to allow our students to live out our Providence School mission statement, ‘pride and purpose through achievement,’” Spurlock said.  “We both knew the magnitude of the Empty Bowls Project would challenge our students to find purpose in planning, creating, critiquing, promoting and executing while finding pride in their accomplishment of raising money to help feed families in need.”

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Providence School, located at 100 S. Lexington Ave. in Wilmore. Soup bowls handcrafted by the students will be available for purchase for $10.

Senior at the Providence School Emily McCoy was busy painting a bowl for her grandmother Tuesday which features the tree of life.

“Anybody in the art program at the school can paint a bowl,” McCoy said. “I love it personally. It goes for a good cause and I get to show my creative side.”

Senior Sarah O’Donnell was also painting a bowl along side McCoy which is part of a set to be sold at the event featuring the elements air, water, earth and fire.

Junior Kaille Sexton had this to say about the bowl she was crafting, “This is a little unicorn I found and thought it was cute. I have a signature mark when I do a bowl to show that I did it.”

Spurlock said the yearly project helps to showcase the student’s commitment and talent while teaching them how give back to the community. Hours are spent making the bowls which each student hopes to sell in order to raise money to help provide food for families in need in Jessamine County.

“The funds generated from the sale are used two ways,” Spurlock said. “Funding the supplies and equipment repairs for each years project and dispersing the funds to various organizations or community families in need of additional support to feed their families.  Last year, we provided financial assistance for holiday meals and a weekly backpack program that sends additional food home with students to get them through the weekend.”

Spurlock said those who attend the event will get their lunch served in the bowl they selected. After finishing lunch, students will wash and wrap the bowl for their resident to take home with them. The lunch is served by the students and staff at the school in the cafeteria.

“The first few years, the TPS staff elicited their friends and family who came and supported our sale,” Spurlock said. “Each year, our attendance grew, our family brought friends and they brought friends and so on.  We have regulars who have come every year for the past 12-years and we expect to see them again this year. Over the years, the TPS staff and students have made consistent positive contributions to our community and we have gained many new supporters. We are supported by our entire school district and each year our students are thrilled when former teachers, principals and the superintendent show up and purchase bowls that they help make.”

In the past, students have made a few bigger serving bowls and plates, Spurlock said. Last year, the event raised $2,880. This year, students have set the same yearly goal as previous year’s events to sell 250 bowls which would ensure the school has the funds to sustain the project and relinquish the funds it desires into the community.

“Another purpose for hosting the Empty Bowls Luncheon each year is to continue to present our students in a positive light,” Spurlock said. “Our students are sometimes perceived in a negative manner. This projects allows us to invite the community in and to meet and interact with our staff, students, friends and our family.”