It was a special night at Jenison Junior High last Thursday, one that was meant to highlight and celebrate the amazing talents and passions of our Junior High Students and continue an eleven year tradition of hosting the Student Showcase and Soup Dinner and it did not disappoint! Many of the school’s incredible groups took part in the Showcase, allowing guests to be entertained, educated and, of course, fed!
The Ceramics and Sculptures class created 225 one-of-a kind, keepsake bowls for diners to choose from and take home as part of their dinner ticket purchase! “Initially, this event was originally intended to be a part of the Empty Bowls Project, a national fundraiser that pairs organizations and schools with local soup kitchens in order to help raise money for the hungry in their communities” and they continue to support the local organization, God’s Kitchen, in Grand Rapids, with their profits, says Vice Principal, Heather Breen.
The 8th Grade Teen Leadership Team was in charge of running the kitchen and serving the all you can eat meal [which included delicious soup classics such as Chicken Noodle, Cheese Broccoli, and Chili], salad, rolls, desserts and drinks. This team also worked hard to decorate the cafeteria, prepare the meal, collect money, collect and package canned goods, and clean the cafeteria following the event.
Each guest was given the option to pay a flat rate of $7.50 or receive a .50 discount if they also brought a canned good. Families received a discount of $1.50 with four canned goods! Ms. Breen reports that “We had approximately 250 people attend the event this year and we brought in approximately $1500 in sales from the dinner and $300 from our Be Nice doorway competition. We also collected 110 pounds of canned goods for God’s Kitchen.”
For the discerning dinner guest who enjoys learning there were plenty of opportunities! The Junior High Band, Orchestra and Choir performed during dinner and many teams including Science Olympiad, KIK Club [Kids Impacting Kids] & Cooking 101 shared presentations as “a great way to highlight the talents of our outstanding students!” – Ms Breen
Additionally, classrooms focused on the theme of “Be Nice” to decorate their doorways. Be nice is a positive anti-bullying initiative designed to spread awareness surrounding the issues of bullying and the importance of treating people with civility community-wide.* Guests were able to vote for their favorite classroom doorway design by giving change that was donated to God’s Kitchen. Any amount was acceptable and the winning classroom won a pizza party!
“We believe that this event continues to be a success due to the support of our students, staff and families. Our students make this event a success by sharing their amazing gifts and talents. Our staff and families also make this event a success by their commitment to support our students and our community.” — Ms Breen
Once again, our students, staff and families in Jenison prove that they care deeply for those in and around our community.
Jenison Junior High students; Way to go!
*From the website of the Mental Health foundation