NEW HAVEN — It was all about pumpkins when students at New Haven Elementary School enjoyed a Family Fun Night recently in the school parking lot.
The children, along with their families, stopped along several stations at the drive-through event, which was organized by teachers Jacque Richardson and Shayla Blackshire. Several other teachers also volunteered their evening to man the stations.
First, the students received a pumpkin, donated by Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. The next station held scales, where after taking a guess, the student’s pumpkin was weighed.
A tub of water was found at one station for a lesson in buoyancy, to see if pumpkins float or sink. Students could guess the seed count at another location, and received books with activities, including one to count the seeds in their own pumpkin and record it.
The children were given Halloween cookie kits at the end of the route, complete with icing for decorating. The school’s PTI erected a fall display of hay bales, pumpkins, scarecrows and mums, where families could stop to take photos.
Richardson said over 200 attended the event, with a steady stream of vehicles lasting over the hour designated for it. According to the principal’s Facebook page, at some points, parents reported waiting up to 45 minutes, and police directed traffic when it lined up past the main road.
“It was great,” Richardson said. “We were so happy with the turnout, and had a really fun night.”
In addition to the event, teachers have been doing activities with their students that center around pumpkins. First graders built catapults and launched clay pumpkins, while first graders made paper plate jack-o-lanterns and learned the life cycle of the fruit. Fifth graders placed items in a hollowed out pumpkin, which was then buried, to be dug up on Earth Day in April. They will see if the items have decomposed, such as fruit, plastic, Styrofoam and metal.
Pre-school children watched as their teachers placed rubber bands around a pumpkin to see how many it would take to make it explode. A video of this experiment can be seen on the Facebook site, “New Haven Elementary Principal’s Page.” The fourth grade teachers demonstrated how to make pumpkin lava lamps on the Facebook page, as well.
Mark Thompson of Thompson’s Hardware in New Haven was also recognized during the family night for bringing his forklift to the school to unload the donated pumpkins.
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