There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup and some warm bread on a chilly night to bring people together. Regnart CDC students and families took this little saying and turned it into an event to help others in a difficult situation.
As were most people in the Bay Area, Regnart CDC students were very aware of the fires that raged through Northern California in October. Although we were far from fires, the smoky air and poor air quality, the grey skies and daily news stories made it very real for our students. Especially after one of our sixth grade students shared with the other students what his teacher had told his class about the fires, and how many people and animals had lost their homes, or suffered other losses.
Once our students heard about what was happening to the people who lived in the fire zone, they wanted to do something to help. At first, they talked about collecting water or making first aid kits. However, after doing a little research, I informed our students that it would be better to come up with an idea where we could collect money or gift cards. It was at this point that the students’ desire to help and their creativity combined to come up with a truly wonderful event.
On November 17, Regnart CDC’s Student Council hosted Stone Soup Night. Each student was asked to bring in a favorite vegetable to add to a homemade minestrone soup. Together, we made two huge pots of soup. Staff and students also worked together to make warm artichoke bread, pound cake and lemonade. For the price of $10, parents and friends could purchase a meal of soup, bread, drink and dessert. The parent of one of our student council members helped out by collecting the gift cards. Krish, student council vice-president, told those in attendance the story of Stone Soup, an old folk tale in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. We found this story of a community coming together a very fitting story for our event.
“Everything smells so good,” Prassaitha, a Regnart CDC parent, said. “It’s really amazing how much work the kids put into this. It’s a wonderful idea.”
Together, we raised $320, which has been donated to the Redwood Credit Union Northern California Fire Victims Fund. Students did not pick a specific county, but instead asked that the money be given to all counties affected. Students were surprised but excited by the amount of money raised. “We should do this again,” Krish said. “There are always people who need some help.”