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NMS Scarecrows And Pumpkins Returning



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Scarecrows will return to the front lawn of Newtown Middle School with the addition of painted pumpkins, as students learned during an informational meeting, held online after school on September 9.

The scarecrows and painted pumpkins will be on display Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24, for public viewing.

The NMS Eighth Grade Scarecrow Contest started in 1996. Since then, students have continued to design larger-than-life scarecrows that can withstand Mother Nature. Normally, $1 votes for a favorite scarecrow by community members raises money for charities chosen by the top three winning scarecrow creators.

This year, that will not happen. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in place of a money collection for entry votes, members of the public are asked to bring donations for FAITH food pantry.

“It’s really important to us that we are following all of the guidelines to keep ourselves, our classmates, and our community safe,” said NMS art teacher Leigh Anne Coles, who oversaw the meeting with NMS art teacher Kris Ladue.

Eighth grade art enrichment students are welcome to work in groups, with parent permission, to create the scarecrows. The Painted Pumpkin Patch, which started last year as a COVID-19-friendly alternative, will continue for single entries and is open to all students.

As Coles explained during the online meeting, students will work over the coming weeks and submit plans to the teachers for approval beforehand. Then on Friday, October 22, students will start putting the scarecrows and painted pumpkins on display for the public to view.

The students receive 16 hours of community service for completing the scarecrow project and six hours of community service for completing a painted pumpkin.

Part of the scarecrow and painted pumpkin challenges include a suggested spending limit of $30, and the students are encouraged to be resourceful and creative.

Following the event, the top voted entries will be announced in The Newtown Bee.

Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at eliza@thebee.com.

The NMS Eighth Grade Scarecrow Contest entries on display in front of the Queen Street school in 2018. —Bee file photos
The top-voted painted pumpkin in 2020 was “Winnie the Pooh and Piglet” by then-seventh-grade student Kayla Sinapi.
The top-voted scarecrow in 2018 was the Back to the Future DeLorean and Marty McFly, by students Adam Uhde and Alamin Islam.
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