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Annual Scarecrow And Painted Pumpkin Event Returning To NMS



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The Newtown Middle School scarecrows and painted pumpkins will be visiting Queen Street again this year.

NMS art teachers Leigh Anne Hildebrandt and Kris Ladue are overseeing the effort again this year, and shared that the seventh and eighth grade students are already working on their entries.

“We’re very excited to start up the annual Scarecrow and Painted Pumpkin contest again. It is the beacon that signals the start of the school year and the crisp fall air," Hildebrandt shared in a recent email.

Each year community members are invited to view scarecrows and painted pumpkins that are put on display at NMS, 11 Queen Street.

This year the scarecrows and pumpkins will be put on display and digital voting by the public for Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, from 9 am to 5 pm both days.

Attendees are encouraged to bring donations for FAITH Food Pantry to the event.

For this annual scarecrow project, students design larger-than-life scarecrows that can withstand Mother Nature. For the effort eighth grade students can work in groups of three to four to create a scarecrow.

All group work is completed at home, and all scarecrows must not involve depicting guts, gore, or violence. Students who create a scarecrow receive 16 hours of community service.

Seventh and eighth grade students can also choose to paint a pumpkin individually, and will receive six hours of community service for the effort. The pumpkins must not be carved to deter critters from eating them.

For both the scarecrow and painted pumpkins, parents may help but the projects must be student driven.

"We encourage you to spend no more than $30 for the project, be resourceful and get creative," a project description reads for both the scarecrows and pumpkins.

For this year’s effort, 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.

"We had a great turn out of both seventh and eighth grade students, and can’t wait to see what they create," said Hildebrandt.

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

The “Forky” scarecrow by eighth grade students Amanda Faircloth, Riley Ragan, Avery McKendry and Annabelle Foley earned first place. —Bee Photos, Taylor
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