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Grosse Pointe Students Create Art While Helping Hungry Families

Grosse Pointe Woods' Parcell Middle School students compete while collecting canned foods for Gleaners Food Bank.

Parcells Middle School students took collecting food for hungry Michigan families in a new direction by using the collected cans to create artistic sculptures.

Teams of National Junior Honor Society members worked for hours creating their structures for display during the school's annual craft show on Saturday, Dec. 1.

In the contest, or "CANstruction," students construct murals or statues out of cans, and after the art form is judged and displayed all of the cans are dismantled and donated to a food bank of their choosing--in this case it is Gleaners Food Bank.

Each structure is no less than 1,000 cans, and must adhere to the chosen theme of "Proud to be an AmeriCAN"--the theme students chose for their first CANstruction contest at Parcells.

To prepare for the competition, some of the students visited Wayne State's Science and Engineering Department in October and watched six teams finish their their final structures for the Southeast Michigan Regional CANstruction competition.  These students brought that experience back to their teams at Parcells to plan their structure and strategy.

Joe Florance, a Parcells' seventh grader and a member of "Team DC"--one of the two NJHS teams, said his team's structure was made up of 1689 cans and took more than 8 hours to build.  

The structure represents three Washington D.C. monuments:  the White House, the Washington Monument and the Pentagon and the base of cans is created with red, white and blue labeled cans.

Members of "Team DC" are:  Chynna Brown, Alex Dean, Olivia Randazzo, Clarissa Kam, Joe Florance, Ben Bauman, Josie Bennett and Illeana Barragan. The team was advised by Mrs. Peck, NJHS adviser, and Mrs. Kam, a parent adviser.

The structures will remain all week until the contest winners are announced on Friday, Dec. 7 and then will be dismantled and donated to the Gleaners Food Bank.

For more information about the CANstruction competition, click here

unknownauthor December 09, 2012 at 06:09 AM
This is a brilliant idea that should be expanded to schools throughout the district. Great job Team DC, it's great to see students proud to be AmeriCANs.
Sheri Kam December 09, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Hi Grant, Your idea is great! Both teams worked on representing this year's theme well. A new way to make a difference in the local community and it is completely student-run. Their dedication to both the honor of the theme and their community concern inspired kids and adults alike. I will pass your comments on to Parcells' NJHS Director in our debrief. I will let you know what comes of it.

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