Along with their book bags, paper, and pencils, Adair County Elementary students are bringing pumpkins to school this week as part of a school-wide project spearheaded by librarian Lana Glasgow. The goal is for students to work together with their parents and siblings to decorate a pumpkin as a favorite book character.
“It’s just something that’s different from a typical assignment,” Glasgow explains. “I wanted a family-oriented project associated with a favorite book to get everyone working together. It gets the students to think about books and it’s amazing to see what they come up with.”
Some students, like Emma Helm, a fourth grader, and Jordan Turner, in third grade, made matching pumpkins. They chose a Troll theme, based on the new movie and its corresponding books. “It’s a new thing that’s just come out and what we liked most was the spiky hair,” Helm explains. “We hot-glued the cotton onto the top for the hair and then put on hairspray and spray paint. It was a lot of fun.” Turner adds: “They’re in style right now.”
Another unique pumpkin—based on the classic Frosty the Snowman character—was created by fourth grader Rickie Franklin. Instead of one medium or large-sized pumpkin, like most students used, Franklin glued three small pumpkins on top of each other, painted it white, and attached arms, a nose, a hat, and a bowtie to complete the character. “It wasn’t that hard, but it was hard to get the arms glued,” Franklin says. “My mom had some special glue that we dipped the pumpkins in and then we used a flower petal to make the nose look like a carrot.”
While most students used a book as inspiration for their pumpkins, Hallie Burton and Sarai Collins, both fifth graders, took the reverse approach, first coming up with the theme then finding a book to match. “Hallie suggested a gumball machine but I said we had to have a book for it,” Collins explains. “Then we found Life in a Gumball Machine and decided to do it.” The two split duties, with Burton taking the responsibilities of decorating the pumpkin and Collins turning a small bucket into a stand. “It wasn’t too much work,” Burton says.
Glasgow, who has overseen this project for three consecutive years, says she will continue with it in the future because it encourages cooperation among students and their families. “That’s what I like most about it—it gets everyone working together.”
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools