Sculpting out a winner

Nancy MacPhee
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Somerset Elementary students kick off Winter Carnival Week with sculpting contest

KINKORA — It was a ‘cool’ contest with an even ‘cooler’ prize.

The Grade 3 class at Somerset Elementary was the winner in the school's annual snow sculpture contest, which was held Monday. Jackson Rogers and Josie Smallwood sit inside the winning sculpture, a bucket based on a book the children read in class.

Monday, students at Somerset Elementary took advantage of the weekend’s heavy snowfall and headed outside to take part in snow sculpting contest, which was part of the schools’ annual winter carnival.

And the prize for the class with the best overall sculpture was a cool treat — an ice cream sundae party.

Each of the nine classes at the school — kindergarten to Grade 8 — participated, working during the two recesses and over the lunch hour on their masterpieces. Three judges, including school volunteer and former home and school association president, Patricia McKenna, who is one of the organizers of the annual contest, awarded points in five categories to determine an overall winner.

 “We had started it three years ago just as a way to get kids to remember how much fun it is to play in the snow,” said McKenna. “Last year there wasn’t enough snow to do it.”

The younger students, whose snow-sculpting skills shone, produced the best results with the Grade 2 class taking top prize, Grade 3 students coming a close second and the Grade 1s in third.

Criteria included overall class participation, providing a synopsis of the sculpture to the three judges, basing the sculpture on something the students had learned in class, humour of the finished project and having fun while doing it.

A simple bucket constructed by the students in Grade 2, coupled with the story behind their project, won the youngsters the ice cream party.

The sculpture was based on the book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today,” a book that the children read in class and discussed at great length.

Two students — Jackson Rogers and Josie Smallwood — were chosen to describe the sculpture and detailed the lesson learned in the book, that of filling one another’s proverbial buckets with kindness, not emptying them by being mean.

“Not to be mean to people,” was what Josie learned from the book. “If you’re being mean to somebody you’re actually dipping into their bucket.”

Jackson added, “If you feel someone’s bucket they’ll fill yours, too. If someone got hurt you can go over to them and make them feel better.”

The youngsters and their classmates voted to build the bucket with all 19 students in the class helping with the actual snow sculpting.

“It was fun,” said Josie.

The third-place winner was a snow-sculpted version of the pig from the popular game, “Angry Birds.”

“We got it out of a colouring book, an Angry Bird colouring book,” said Grade 1 student Ryan Nantes. “Our whole class helped us.”

Other sculptures included an erupting volcano, a walrus, the kindergarten students’ upside down snowman and a replica of Prince Edward Island, which captured second place for the Grade 3 class.

“We voted and the most votes got this,” Grade 3 student Hannah Silliker said about how the concept for the snow sculpture was selected.

The children used green spray paint to make trees and grass on the sculpture and even included a grocery store and its parking lot.

“We learned about P.E.I. in social studies,” said Mya Moffatt. “We learned about counties and towns.”

The top two winners will have their ice cream sundae party later this month while the third place winner will receive hot chocolate and treats.

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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