School News, April 25

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

Topics: Monomoy Regional School District , Education

Monomoy Regional Middle School students display soup bowls they created for the May 1 fundraiser. COURTESY PHOTO

Middle School 'Empty Bowls, Full Hearts' Fundraiser May 1

On Wednesday, May 1, from 5 to 6:30 pm, Monomoy Regional Middle School will host its second annual “Empty Bowls, Full Hearts” fundraiser to raise money for and awareness of hunger issues on Cape Cod. 

For many families, monthly income is used for fixed expenses, such as mortgage or rent payments, insurance, and utilities. What little additional income remains is often not enough to purchase food. Last year, MRMS opened the Monomoy Market to meet the needs of hungry students and their families.  This year, the market has flourished thanks to the support of the Masonic Angel Foundation. Recently, the Monomoy Megalodons, a role model leadership club, began preparing 50 bagged lunches each month for the St. Joseph’s Homeless Shelter in Hyannis. Students decorate the lunch bags with colorful drawings and inspirational messages. All proceeds from next week's event will continue to support these efforts.

The project is under the direction of middle school art teacher Jeremiah Nickerson and the unifying arts department. Nickerson received a grant from Cape Cod Five Foundation to purchase the materials for the 200-plus bowls students crafted for the event.  All different ways of making bowls and a variety of handbuilding techniques were taught to students.

“Ceramics is a combination of art and science,” Nickerson said. “Having the students learn what it takes to build the bowls and participate in this event makes a very meaningful community connection for students.”

There will be four different soups, including a vegetarian option, as well as fresh rolls and butter.  Band and chorus students will provide music. Participants are asked to give a free will donation. Doors open in the cafeteria at 5 p.m.

Monomoy Regional School District

Each year the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education puts out a “Report Card” on each of the state's school districts. This year's report card for the Monomoy district is now available. The report card provides the public with information about the qualifications of teachers, student demographics, recent assessment information, academic programs offered, school spending and more, according to a press release. To view the Monomoy report card, visit

Harwich Elementary School

Thanks to collaborative partnerships with local businesses and organizations, the garden courtyard at Harwich Elementary School will now be a welcoming place for area birds and other wildlife.

Fourth grade students recently participated in a project to build, paint, and install a dozen birdhouses in the school’s courtyard garden. Volunteers from Polhemus, Savery, DaSilva Builders donated their time to help the students build and paint the birdhouses and then worked with students to place and install the birdhouses in the courtyard garden area. The birdhouse materials were part of a grant from The Garden Club of Harwich to re-certify the Harwich Elementary School garden as a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat. Wood for the birdhouses was donated by Shepley Wood Products.

Students from Mrs. Branchut’s fourth-grade class researched native birds and their habitats, and the Garden Club of Harwich shared their expertise on the types of birdhouses to attract specific species. Chickadees and goldfinches were identified, and houses were designed to suit them. The students also wrote creative essays and illustrated their designs for bird houses, which are on display in the school.

The project is the latest in the ongoing development of the HES garden courtyard. In recent years, students and community volunteers have cleaned out the courtyard and created raised beds, thanks to donations from O’Leary Landscaping and Shepley Wood Products. The Harwich Garden Club has also supported the work with grant funding, both last year and this year, and the Harwich PTO donated tables so that classes can meet in the courtyard.

The team at HES will next add donated bird feeders and bird baths to create a welcoming environment for birds, along with milkweed plants to attract monarch butterflies.

Monomoy High School

The first annual Monomoy High School Student Film Festival will be held on Thursday, May 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the MRHS auditorium. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Best Long Film (5 to 10 minutes), Best Short Film (up to five minutes) and Best Rookie (for first-time filmmaker and/or smartphone film) (up to three minutes). Prizes include a gift card from the Knack, phone stabilizer, and gift cards from other local businesses. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 26. Films must be submitted on Google Drive to Mr. Cass ( Films must be "classroom appropriate" as well as original (no recycled projects). Films will be judged by Darby Lyons, local filmmaker; Sarah Colvin of Cape Media News and James Cole of The Cape Cod Chronicle.