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Carving Cooperation and Relationship-Building at Bloomsburg PS

Students carve pumpkins outdoors on a sunny day

Caption: Bloomsburg PS students took their pumpkin-carving outside on a sunny day

Pumpkinfest has become an annual tradition in Waterford, and the towering pumpkin pyramid that can be seen downtown is a sure sign of autumn. This year, as Pumpkinfest celebrated its 35th year, the students of Bloomsburg Public School marked the occasion in a unique way, carving the pumpkins that created the festival’s distinctive display.

“Older students assisted younger students with drawing faces, cutting out designs and scooping out gooey pumpkin guts,” said Lori Rodgers, principal at Bloomsburg PS. “Every student, from Kindergarten to Grade 8, designed and carved a pumpkin, which were donated to the school by local farmers.”

Students enjoyed creating a wide range of facial expressions and likenesses, such as Jack Skellington from the film The Nightmare Before Christmas, while others drew pictures or symbols such as peace signs.

Harper, a student in Grade 3, enjoyed the collaboration with students in upper grades: “They gave me help when I needed it, and it was fun because they had different ideas.”

Students disposed of their pumpkin guts in an eco-friendly manner, adding the remains to the school's compost bin. Once they biodegrade, the pumpkin guts will see new life next spring in the school's gardens, adding a component of environmental conservation to the project.

The annual event fosters and celebrates inclusive school communities, which is a pillar of Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan.

Clayton Forbes, a Grade 8 teacher at Bloomsburg, sees tremendous value in the pumpkin-carving project’s ability to build relationships.

"The tradition of pumpkin carving is one that students look forward to every year, and many students research and design their creations ahead of time,” Forbes said. “It definitely generates excitement, especially when students proudly see their work on display during the festival, and it’s great that the older kids can be role models and provide leadership in working with the younger students."

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