Pumpkin patch comes to students

Published 10:32 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin pickers: Delightful Howell, Carter Holman, Emily Tadlock, Jaylen Lafleur, Jimmy Jiang and Isaac McIntyre proudly show the pumpkins they “picked” at the at-school pumpkin patch field trip on Wednesday.

If the students at Kilby Shores Elementary couldn’t go to the pumpkin patch this year, teachers were determined to bring the pumpkin patch to them.

On Wednesday morning, the school’s youngest students enjoyed hayrides, outdoor games, a petting zoo and pumpkin picking — all while never boarding a bus.

“We used to take the students on a trip to Chippokes Farm and Forestry each year, and lately it’s just been them coming to talk to the students about farming,” said Seazante Oliver, principal at Kilby Shores. “This year, we wanted to expand on the trip and expand the number of students benefiting from it. It’s cost-effective and more students can take part.”

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As far as the children were concerned, a morning of fall fun and a sack lunch picnic is just as good as any other.

They laughed just as loud and ran just as fast to pick out their perfect pumpkin.

Teachers went on Saturday to Darden’s Country Store in Smithfield to purchase more than 200 pumpkins for the outing. Students were able to walk around a field and choose their favorite to take home.

“My favorite part was the pumpkins,” said Colton Byars, a kindergartener, who said he wants to make his into a jack-o-lantern.

Colton, whose birthday was also on Wednesday, already has plans to carve eyes, a nose and a “smile mouth” on his, he said.

Earlier in the day, his classmates sang “Happy Birthday” to him as they went in circles around the bus pick-up and drop-off area in a trailer full of hay.

“The students loved the hayride,” said Mary Williams, a kindergarten teacher. “They sang ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ and children were saying it was just like the time they went on a hayride somewhere else.”

Also a popular activity was the educational petting zoo, which included a goat, a sheep, a pig and chickens. The owners talked to the students about each animal and gave them a chance to pet them.

“We’ve been going over harvest time in class, and it’s been sweet to hear them talking at the table about the field trip,” Williams said. “It’s been good to see them enjoy it as much as they have.”