AWC youngsters dine on stone soup
Youngsters from the Dr. Kathryn A. Watson Child Development Learning Laboratory joined together with their families and feasted on an unusual meal during a recent holiday celebration — stone soup.
During an annual event Tuesday at Arizona Western College, the campus community gathered to watch the children perform the story of “Stone Soup,” and those in attendance were served bowls of soup teeming with shredded beef, potatoes, carrots, corn, peas and zucchini coupled with rolls and crackers.
A teacher told the crowd about how a town had grown weary of soldiers passing through and continually asking for food, so they made sure to squall it all away out of sight. However, when one group of soldiers came through town, they slyly found a way to both bring the community together and also help them to share their food so the whole town could eat.
They asked the townspeople for a pot and some water to boil over a fire so that they could make stone soup. Curious, the town one by one began to volunteer various vegetables from their homes to be mixed in to the stone soup concoction.
“It's a wonderful way to gather everybody together,” said Alma Barrandey, interim director for AWC's Child Development Learning Laboratory, about their annual event.
“It's been going on since we were in our old building in 1966. It's a yearly tradition. It brings all of our families together and it promotes literacy for our children because the play is based on a story we read to them.”
She commented that the students thoroughly enjoyed the story when they first heard it and they took time in their class to share with their peers about what their favorite vegetable is. The day before the event the students brought in various vegetables to cut them up and prepared for the soup the next morning.
All 48 infant to preschool age students enrolled at the Child Development Learning Lab were involved in the event in one way or another from participating in the skit, to helping create placements and table centerpieces for the tables, said Barrandey.
“We started practicing the skit a few weeks ago, but the event is planned out from the beginning of the year since we are busy making decorations, laminating place mats, sending out invitations and everything else,” she said.
Barrandey said that this year they had more than 100 people in attendance and it was a perfect day for the event, unlike some years when it has been too cold or too windy.
The event ended with the staff serving up some delicious pumpkin pie, with of course, a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Sarah Womer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.