By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — They donned smocks and used rolling pins to shape the clay.
Kindergarten students at the Danville Primary School were helped every step of the way by sixth-graders in a decorative bowl project to benefit two organizations in the Danville Area School District.
Students were paired up by middle school art teacher Megan Heistand and primary school art teacher Jessica Noel to work together recently.
They rolled out the clay, traced a template around it for the shape of the bowl and then added texture to the clay. The clay will dry and will be fired. After that, the students will add glaze and the bowls will be fired again.
They will sell for $5 each from 3 to 6 p.m. May 1 and 9 in the computer lab of the school’s kindergarten hallway, before the kindergarten and sixth grade spring concerts.
Heistand and Noel began the project last year with proceeds benefiting the high school Drama Club to help it recover from items lost in the flood of September 2011.
This year, bowl sales will go to The Hackey House and Many Hands Helping others. Hackey House teaches academic and life skills to students with disabilities. Many Hands Helping Others gives food to students who don’t have enough food for the weekend.
“Our goal is to sell out,” said Noel. Students expected to make 500 bowls.
Last year they sold out of about 500 bowls in three days. They made about $1,000.
In all, about 400 students are involved. They are creating bowls in all colors, sizes and shapes. Half the bowls were finished in December. Colors include red, black, purple, orange, green and blue.
Sixth-graders were taught in advance how to teach the younger kids.
Twelve-year-old Ryan Brouse said he enjoyed “working with the little people,” meaning kindergarten students. “It’s fun to go around helping them,” he said.
He was paired with Brennan Greenwood, 6, who was having a good time. “I like everything about it,” he said.
Corina Smith, 11, and 5-year-old Peyton Oertle created a heart-shaped bowl. Corina said she enjoyed helping the younger children.
“I like working with the big kids — they’re nice,” Peyton said.
Sixth-grader Cassie Reibsome, 12, said it was great the kids get to learn to make a bowl as she worked with Morgan Gerringer, 5.