Blandford Elementary school’s Art Club recently constructed two gingerbread houses to enter into the Savannah Westin Gingerbread Village, an event that takes place each year around the holiday season.
Lindsey Gerow, an art teacher at Blandford Elementary who is also in charge of the Art Club, led the charge in getting the club’s two submissions built.
“I’ve been at Blandford for about four years and the second year I was here, I found out that the Westin Gingerbread competition is open to youth groups,” Gerow said. “I always visited the Westin to see their Gingerbread Village every year so I was super excited to be a part of that this year.”
According to their website, the Westin Gingerbread Village is for Christmas lovers, gingerbread enthusiasts, master sculptors, kids, amateurs, professionals and candy connoisseurs of all ages.
Entries into the competition benefit Savannah Harbor Foundation’s local children’s charities. The winners also receive prizes for their submissions.
The event sees thousands of visitors make the trip to the Westin to view the gingerbread houses.
The competition includes two age divisions (17 and under, 18 and over) and is open for anyone who would like to participate. The judging took place on Monday.
Gerow explained that the Westin offers workshops on how to build the culinary creations before the submissions are entered.
“They do workshops for people who are interested in participating - it’s just a really great program,” Gerow said. “They actually provide the shell of the gingerbread house and we just have to get the kids together to decorate it.”
For some of the students in the Art Club, this is their first chance at submitting a gingerbread house - others are doing it for a second time.
“This is our third year that we’re entering a piece,” Gerow said. “This year, we had 36 students, two parent volunteers and my loving husband come and help us.”
Gerow said that the students worked on the two gingerbread houses for a few hours.
“We started at like 2:30 p.m. and worked on them until 5 on Wednesday night,” Gerow said. “I’m going to deliver them Monday or Sunday to the Westin in the competition.”
One submission was built by the fourth-grade members of the club and the other was built by the fifth-grade members.
The students took turns contributing to the building and decorating process.
“In my classroom, the chairs are numbered at each table,” Gerow said. “I would call up all of my No. 1’s to the main table with the main gingerbread house and all of the supplies and at their table, they were building their own personal gingerbread house out of graham crackers.”
Gerow continued and explained that the process proved to be a success.
“There were 36 kids all building their own small sculpture and they’re taking turns working on the group sculpture with four students at a time working for five minutes at a time,” Gerow said. “They pretty much did whatever they wanted on it - it was super cool.”
Gerow has more cool activities planned for her students in the future.
“We just finished our tie-dye and screenpriting our shirts - the students designed their own Art Club shirts and logo,” Gerow said. “In the spring, we are going to have a similar kind of party where all the kids will paper mache and build a Chinese dragon for our end of the year arts festival.”
Fourth grade members of the Art Club are Abby Wade, Abby Hirschy, Bella Scroggs, Beth Tisdale, Carson Price, Emma O’dell, Emma Maseda, Emma Gause, Emma Keen, Fannie Whitten, Hillary Smith, Junney Han, Jalie Phillips, Julia Ronk, Mary Magallones and Murphy Boyett.
Fifth grade members of the Art Club are Andrea Boyer, Arianna Arminger, Ashton Lamkin, Aubri Williford, Brett Crews, Chloe Lin, Christina Plant, Ellie Pastirik, Emily Barringer, Felipe Herrera, Gage Hansen, Hannah Smith, Jackson Schnobrick, Jaden Johnson, Jaina Hernandez and Jasmine Aponte.
Amanda Arminger and Jessica Johnson were parent volunteers.