Friday, November 23, 2012
Nothing builds community like a dash of healthy competition.
And nothing says Thanksgiving like a Halloween pumpkin contest!
Well, perhaps that is a bit of a stretch but the fact that I am writing about a Halloween pumpkin contest the day after Thanksgiving is proof of how sorrowfully negligent I have been in keeping up with my wee educational blog.
Anyway, our school was asked by California Pizza Kitchen (CPK in NYC) to engage in a pumpkin decorating contest involving all classes Pre-K through 8th Grade. The winning class was promised a pizza party and a tour of the CPK kitchens.
That enticement was enough to get the creative juices flowing. All of the teachers and students starting vying for the most creative, eye catching pumpkin. By the time CPK delivered the pumpkins we all had a clear vision of how our pumpkins would look.
The students in our class excitedly suggested a mummy pumpkin. How cool is that? My coteacher and I loved that idea and thought it would be fantastic if we could make a literacy connection. The children modeled the pumpkin after Derek in Skeleton Meets the Mummy by Steve Metzger.
Derek was fairly simple to make. I bought a self-adhering bandage and the kids just wrapped it around the pumpkin. We added pipe cleaner eyes and a foam mouth and voilá "Derek" was complete.
CPK collected all of the pumpkins days before Hurricane Sandy hit NYC and placed them in their store on 30th Street and Park Avenue South (near our school). Customers were encouraged to vote on their favorite design in a good-humored fashion.
Hurricane Sandy delayed the announcement of the winning pumpkins but last week we got the news. Our pumpkin came in second with 62 votes but "Robo-Pumpkin" came out on top with 81 votes! Third place went to the 8th Grade entry "Purrfect Pie Pizza" (a cat pumpkin) with 41 votes. All in all, 282 votes were received.
I hope our school will engage in more fun partnerships with CPK and other local businesses in the future. It was a wonderful way to build school spirit and bring us together.