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Avon RBS Students Make Scarecrows, Collect 500 Food Items for Gifts of Love

Roaring Brook School families celebrated the season with a walk on Blazers Trail to see the scarecrows each class made.

In the Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow accompanies Dorothy along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City.

Meanwhile in Avon on Thursday, scarecrows made by caring Munchkins, so to speak, on another trail helped the Roaring Brook School community celebrate the school's 50th anniversary.

Each classroom crafted scarecrows and "a lot of the scarecrows are dressed for a birthday party" to celebrate the anniversary, First Grade Teacher Sue Winterson said. Teachers stationed their students' scarecrows on Blazers Trail by the school. Children and families to came Thursday to see the Scarecrow Garden on Blazers Trail.

First graders and kindergartners began the tradition a few years ago and Winterson spearheaded the initiative to open it up to the whole school and make it a food drive and fundraiser for the food pantry at Avon-based Gifts of Love.

"Last year, we decided it would be a good fundraiser," she said, adding that the the idea came from the theme of scaring away hunger combined with the autumn season.

Students brought in 500 cans of food and many coins to donate to the Avon charity that helps Farmington Valley and Greater Hartford families in need.

Last year, the scarecrows were in the Roaring Brook courtyard, but this year staff chose to display them on Blazers Trail "to get parents and kids out to use the trail." The trail is a quarter of a mile and loops back to the school

Assistant Principal Larry Sparks and teacher Joe Periera worked with Avon High School students Mike Starr and Matt Howard of high school club The Student Initiative to open up the trail last year. The club has helped maintain it. A $5,000 Avon Education Foundation helped fund the project.

Sparks said he was looking for Roaring Brook and decided the trail would be a natural way to foster an outdoor learning environment. There is also an amphitheater at the trail for school activities.

Periera said that the food drive, fundraiser and scarecrow-making fit well together because it's "not only an opportunity to raise money for the food bank" and stop hunger, it's also a way to make people aware that the trail is there and encourage them to use it.

He said that the trail is "great learning space" that the school wants to continue.

The scarecrows are on display at the trail and will most likely be taken down before Hurricane Sandy's projected arrival.

Nancy usich October 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM
The parents and students had such a great time contributing, and assembling their scarecrow. The hallway was lined with boxes of food for Gifts of Love. The children were so excited when they discovered all the scarecrows, yet they quietly walked through the rest of the trail so as not to disturb any habitat or nature's creatures peeking through the leaves.This was an amazing undertaking where lessons came alive , both measurable and immeasurable. One walked away with the thought that Avon is a great place to live and Roaring Brook is a special school filled with so many caring people : students, parents, teachers, administrators, cooks, and custodians. Come out and enjoy, but shhhhh. Someone might be watching. Happy Birthday, Roaring Brook!
Sarah Calatayud October 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Great pictures! I know the kids loved this activity!

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