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Getting Creative With Food Drives

Williams School students participate in canned food sculpture contest after week-long collection effort

The non-perishable food items collected by students at the Williams School will soon be headed to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Food/Labor Center. For some time on Friday, however, they had a different use: art materials.

This is the third year the school’s Service Committee, a student organization focusing on community service and environmental projects, has sponsored “Canned Creations.” This canned food sculpture contest involves the students in seventh grade through 12th grade.

Each class collected food during the week, bringing in a total of 812 items. During the class meeting period on Friday, each grade worked together to make a sculpture from the materials.

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Tekla Zweir, an art teacher and coordinator of the Service Committee, said the competition helps spur additional donations. She said the event also offers a chance for students to be creative and work together.

The class meeting time is only about 15 minutes, meaning the students have to come up with an idea and work quickly. Some sculptures only used the food items, while others included some additional components such as pieces of cardboard.

“We’re not that rigid about the rules,” said Zweir. “It’s more about them being creative.”

Zweir said it is interesting to see how the group dynamics evolve from year to year, as middle school students are only just beginning to get to know one another. The sophomore class made an Eiffel Tower sculpture. An attempt to have the Arc de Triomphe proved impossible, so the class made a separate tower instead.

“We just wanted to being a bit of France to America,” joked sophomore Xavier Mills.

The sophomores won the competition, which is judged by faculty members, for using the most cans, having the highest number of participants, and creativity. Other sculptures included a castle, animals, and a peace sign.

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