11/25/10 — St. Mary students make cupcakes, learn about thanks, giving

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St. Mary students make cupcakes, learn about thanks, giving

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 25, 2010 12:07 AM

Karlie Westbrook and Kyra Wardley, both 5, had their own strategies for decorating the cupcakes that would be taken to the Community Soup Kitchen on Tuesday.

Kyra chose orange sprinkles and candy corn to adorn hers.

"I got white icing and I put some little sprinkles, colorful sprinkles, and then I put on some sticks with pumpkin and hay," Karlie said.

The kindergartner at St. Mary School brought along a helper, in the form of 4-year-old sister, Julia Westbrook.

"I make cupcakes with my mom all the time. I put the eggs, I crack the eggs open, I put the cake mix in there," Julia said while adding another dash of sprinkles to her cupcakes.

This is the second year for the project in Carrie Talton's class, St. Mary principal Lynn Magoon said.

"Parents are asked to bring in cupcakes and the supplies for children to decorate them," Ms. Talton explained, crediting parent Melissa Harrell with suggesting the effort last year. "She takes them to the soup kitchen to be served."

The project also affords the educators with a teachable moment.

"We talk about that a lot, about giving thanks for all the blessings we have," Ms. Talton said after reading a book to her students, titled, "Have You Filled A Bucket Today?"

"Everybody walks around with an invisible bucket and all day long we're filling other people's buckets with kind words and deeds," Mrs. Harrell said. "We want to be bucket fillers and not bucket dippers."

It's a lesson even the youngest students understand, she said.

Kindergartner Aaron Thomas said he enjoyed the story "about the magic bucket" and its message "to be nice."

"I shared my snack with my little brother, and I filled his bucket," chimed in classmate Nicholas Gambella.

Owen Michael Sawyer, who chose white frosting "because icing is supposed to be white," also had a clear understanding of the project's importance.

"We're going to give them to people who are hungry," he said.

Children can relate because they know what it feels like to be hungry, even if on a limited basis, their teacher said.

"We were just talking about how as children they like to have breakfast and a snack, lunch and a snack, dinner and a snack, and a snack and a snack, but there are people who only have one meal," Mrs. Harrell said. "This is about the power of little cupcakes and little moments -- compassion starts young."