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The Suburbanite
  • Soup teaches preschools a sharing lesson

  • The children of Church of the Lakes Child Care in Jackson Township got a lesson in sharing as their teachers acted out the old folk story “Stone Soup.”

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  • The children of Church of the Lakes Child Care in Jackson Township got a lesson in sharing as their teachers acted out the old folk story “Stone Soup.”
    The 150 children of the school, ages 2 and a half through 5, began the special day by cutting up green beans, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes.
    Once the vegetable prep work was complete, school director Lisa Wright began to read the story.
    “Once upon a time far, far away, there was a nice little village. The people that lived in the village were very happy people. They had nice little houses and plenty of good food. One day, two travelers were walking along the dusty road when they came upon the little village…” At that point, two teachers began knocking on doors of the makeshift village, asking the villagers if they had any food. They were turned away until one villager gave them an empty pot. They filled the pot with water, put it on the fire and put a stone in it.
    The students were excited and ready to play their role in the story. The travelers said the soup would be better if it had carrots. The 22 children at the carrot table yelled, “We have carrots,” and each took their carrots and dumped them in the pot to make the soup taste better. Each group added its vegetables to the pot. The children could not wait until it was their turn to share a vegetable for the stone soup.
    Meanwhile, Wright had soup cooking on the stove in the nearby kitchen. She asked the children if they could smell the soup, pointing to the pot sitting over the pretend fire in front of them.
    “We talk about it all month in the classrooms,” Wright said. “The lesson is about sharing.”
    Children then eat the soup as their snack for the day. Wright said that parents often comment on the fact that their children do not eat some of these vegetables at home, but can’t wait to try the soup. They want to know what the vegetable they prepared for the soup tastes like.
    “It is amazing and is a perfect way to eat something warm and healthy,” she said.
    The story “Stone Soup” is a folk tale that has been retold by a variety of authors and illustrators. Many versions have been written for different nationalities.
    The children had been bringing in nonperishable food items to give to the Community Harvest program in Stark County. Volunteers of Community Harvest spoke to the children after the story was told. Board member Jodi Luntz said she was glad to be a part of the program. Using the lesson of sharing, Luntz told the children, “We take the food you shared with us and share it with others in our communities that are hungry.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Volunteer Livvy Mull also thanked the class for their donations.
    “I wanted to recognize them for sharing with others,” she said. “... Also to reinforce the idea that a community can be their classmates at the table, their school, neighborhood or the city they live in.”
    Community Harvest is a food program that rescues prepared food in Stark County.
    Interim president Gary Mull said the organization has a refrigerated truck, and volunteers go to restaurants, bakeries, hospitals and other places to gather food that would just be thrown away.
    “We then deliver it to over 30 sites,” he said.
    Last year the organization saved enough food for 900,000 meals, more than $1.3 million worth of food that otherwise would have gone to waste.
    Wright said that Buehler’s donated the vegetables for the activity, which also served as a science lesson.
    “We show them how vegetables grow and what they look like when they come out of the ground,” Wright said.
    Wright, a Jackson Township resident, started the child care center in 1998.

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