Home > Children, Education, Parenting, Public Service > It Takes A Village And A Can

It Takes A Village And A Can


It takes a village.

~ original origins unknown

I love this phrase because it’s true.

Indeed, when raising children, it takes a village. Or a neighborhood. Or a sgoyaredchool. Or a group of amazing teachers. Or in this case, a can. Well, maybe a few hundred cans. Okay, in this case, it took 900 cans.

Goya cans that is and I’m not talking about raising children exactly, although the concept behind the phrase made famous by Hilary Clinton in 1996, is the same and the idea that when people come together to help each other to do good things, good things get done, is the implication.

In this case however, I’m talking about it taking amazing teachers and awesome, eager teams of Kindergarten through 12th grade students creatively coming together to feed hungry people in our community. (And 900 cans of course.)

They’re doing this by building incredible sculptures entirely from canned food.

The program they are participating in is called Canstruction® and, it is brilliant.

This is the first Canstruction® Jr Hudson Valley event in our region and it’s being presented by my daughter’s school. Several other schools in the area are also participating. The academic, social and humanitarian components of this project will no doubt serve to enable these outstanding students to absolutely make a difference in someone else’s life this Holiday Season. 

That is what it’s all about. Isn’t it?

It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade

But in our world of plenty, we should spread a smile of joy!
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

~ Do They Know It’s Christmas

For several weeks my daughter’s 6th grade class has been working with their math, science and humanities teachers along with an artist to come up with a diagram of a structure they could build using canned food. This is progressive, project-based learning at it’s best.

Their efforts culminated in 5-hours of  precisely stacking nearly 900 cans to create this melting masterpiece:

Melting Snowman

Melting Snowman

For the next week or so, this and other wonderful creations will remain on display at our local Galleria. Red bins in front of each structure will collect more cans for donation to a local soup kitchen and food bank from visitors and onlookers.  The bin with the greatest number of cans at the end of the week will receive the coveted “People’s Choice” award but the real winners in this competition are each and every student who participated. Through awareness, guidance, teaching and love these students will take with them the pride and joy of knowing their efforts helped collect thousands of cans of food that will feed hungry people in our community at Christmas time.

They are making a difference.


It takes a village. Or a neighborhood. Or a school.

Or in this case, a group of amazing teachers and awesome students.

Oh, and 900 cans.

Or — all of the above — because when people come together to do good things,

good things get done.


The World

There’s A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You’ll Find There’s No Need
To Cry
In This Place You’ll Feel
There’s No Hurt Or Sorrow

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living

Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

~ Heal the World


One Proud 6th-Grader

Photo Credits 1 – 2: Google Images

Photo Credits 3 – 6: KarenSzczukaTeich&www.Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

  1. December 9, 2012 at 5:36 am

    That is amazing – both in design, but more importantly, because it’s going to help those who really need it!


    • December 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

      Yes, Lady…. it is amazing and in every way! It truly is all GOOD. 🙂


  2. JJM
    December 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

    A great post about a great event! What fun it was to watch it happen!


    • December 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

      Thanks, JJM…. fun and fantastic! Thanks so much for reading & commenting. 🙂


  3. December 9, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Those sculptures are amazing Karen, on many levels. I can only imagine how many times I would have knocked them over when I was that age. The ‘village’ would have made me wait outside.


    • December 9, 2012 at 8:09 am

      Ha, Ha…. Andy! (I figured you might be “that kind of kid” 🙂 ) And thanks as always for reading & commenting. Best… Karen


      • December 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

        My older cousins actually did this when they made a fort out of beer cans. They wouldn’t let me near it. I was 7. Have a great Sunday Karen…..I have to give you another award or two sometime this week. 🙂


  4. December 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

    it is great to see what good people CAN do


    • December 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      You got that right, Under the skies…. thank you for stopping by, reading & commenting. 🙂


  5. December 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Wonderful, Karen. Andy Hannah is so grown and lovely, too.


  6. December 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    anita :
    Wonderful, Karen. And
    Hannah is so grown and lovely, too.


  7. Karl
    December 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    This is just wonderful! What a creative way to bring awareness and help people in need.


  8. December 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty cool, Karl! I’m so glad my daughter is a part of it.


  9. December 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    love it, love it, love it!!!


  10. December 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Me too. Thanks Breida!! (and feel better)


  11. Shandra
    December 21, 2012 at 7:38 am



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