Maureen Doebbler

Service-learning projects are beneficial for students because it provides them real-world experiences that helps foster an understanding of what it means to be a part of a community. Sculpting is a unique and tangible way for students to express themselves creatively while making that lasting impact.

Maureen Doebbler, educator at East Central High School, wanted to give her students the opportunity to develop, create, and construct community sculptures for district projects. Thanks to Power of the Dollar® members, she was awarded a $1,000 grant in December 2022 for her “Sculpture Service Projects” idea, and she then purchased sculpting materials, such as polymer clay, to provide her students the resources to complete service-learning projects!

Students working on a sculpture

Students working on a sculpture

“I applied ‘cause I wanted the kids to do this project specifically,” said Doebbler. “We started the idea last year and I thought we have to find a way for them to be able to do it. So, I thought let me see if we could do this because I think it would be a great opportunity for the kids who were in something and do service back to someone else.”

The project they are in the process of finishing is a school garden at Salado Elementary, which features sculptures of vegetables made right in the classroom. Exploring different artistic techniques, developing fine motor skills, and communicating ideas in three-dimensional forms, the students are learning to be creative and appreciate community based contributions. Students are getting a crash course on experiences beyond the traditional art classroom, and the more opportunities for them, the more they can thrive and inspire others.

“Teaching them those skills (along the way), but then using it into doing a project that they can see we’re doing it for someone else but get gratification that you helped do this,” she said. “They’ve enjoyed it!”

Looking to help local schools, invest in your community, and support educators like Maureen Doebbler? Make a tangible, positive impact by joining the collective giving of our Power of the Dollar® membership. Learn more at, and together, we can create pathways that lead to better lives and stronger communities.