High Point Academy’s third graders served souped-up signs at carline one recent Friday to kick off their traditional “Souper Bowl” competition. Enthusiastic participants donated cans and cans of hearty soups in the names of their favorite Super Bowl teams as they pulled up to the school, while third graders manned tables decorated with team banners for the Patriots and the Falcons. By the end of the morning, students had collected 47 cans in the name of the Patriots and 99, in the name of the Falcons.
As all professional football fans know the Patriots stunned everyone watching Super Bowl LI when they delivered a historic upset, overcoming a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons 34 to 28. Equally stunning was the generous donation that Mrs. Woodward’s and Mrs. Flanagan’s third graders delivered to Friends in Deed, a local food pantry that has been in operation for more than 120 years.
This community engagement project has become one of High Point’s most successful traditions and an educational experience to boot. The children started the week creating their own signage, visiting other classrooms to promote their competition, and discussing the need for helping those less fortunate. They ended with a math lesson as they carefully sorted and counted the donations.
Jacob Chow, third grade, reflected on the importance of the “Souper Bowl”. He said, “We gave soup to poor people who go to Friends in Deed for food. I hope people will be thankful.”
Josephine Lewellen added, “Well, it made me feel happy that people are getting food when they can’t afford it. We went around in groups to classrooms [at High Point] to tell other kids about our ‘Souper Bowl’ so they could bring cans.”
Third grader Ellie Chu explained how students prepared for the big day: “We made posters to remind the people in carline, and we talked in class about Friends in Deed. Later the cans were transferred to the food pantry.”
Josephine chimed in about the kinds of soup that were best. “We thought about soup that had chicken and vegetables—not just broth.”
Finally, Caden McMullin was tasked with counting the cans before the winning team was announced to the entire school. “We counted a couple of times because we were off the first time.” He summed up the whole experience this way: “We helped people who are struggling with homelessness and to buy food for their families.”