Stoner Prairie Elementary School students will likely have a new kiln for their pottery work next school year.

The school has been raising money for the kiln purchase through a GoFundMe since February, and got a big boost toward the $3,500 goal with a “Paint Night” May 9 that raised $1,560 with more than 100 attendees. Families gathered in the school’s art room and gym to paint different nature scenes.

“Many families worked together to make their work of art,” art teacher Tina Johnson wrote in an email. “It was amazing to see entire families and parents with their children working together.”

A local paint night company, Artful Escapes, that recently went out of business donated leftover brushes and painting supplies, which Johnson said was key to the event making a profit.

The school’s current kiln is 30 years old, according to the GoFundMe page.

“The old kiln is out of date, the temperature must be adjusted manually every two hours,” the post reads. “This makes firing during the school day extremely difficult as it takes away time and attention from our students.”

For more information on the project, visit

– Scott Girard