Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harvest Festival

Kids no longer get to have many of the celebrations throughout the school year previous generations grew up anticipating. I guess the school boards have to recognize all holidays (including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Druid, etc.) if they allow any and at some point it became impossible to accommodate everyone's personal beliefs without offending anyone. As a result, nothing is celebrated, which I think is really sad. Halloween, which some opponents insist is a devil-worship holiday, is no longer allowed at any public schools that I know of. At the last school the boys attended, it was renamed "Book-o-ween" and children came with book in hand, dressed as their favorite fictional character. Here, they don't even do that. Most of the teachers do absolutely nothing, pretending as if Halloween only exists in some parallel universe. Dakota's teacher, however, is very creative to the point of being slightly subversive at times - and I think this is a good thing. She takes the attitude that she is preparing these kids for life and, from what I can tell, everything she does develops from that premise. Case in point? Dakota's class, unlike the rest of the school, got to have a Harvest Festival. They all belonged to one of several committees (games, food, cleanup, etc.) and had responsibilities associated with that committee. They went outside for about an hour and played games, then had snacky food when they got back inside. When I look at these pictures and see the joy on these kids' faces, I wonder how anyone can think that an occasional celebration at school is a bad thing, no matter what we call it. The kids got exercise, had more fun that they've had at school all year, and worked together toward a common goal. In real life, it's called team-building.

This boy busted through the bottom of his bag in the sack race and celebrated his certain victory all the way to the finish line. It was absolutely hysterical.

Bobbing for apples was really fun to watch, too. Even the kids who had no interest in actually eating the apples were determined to get one. Some got absolutely soaked in the process while others quickly figured out that, unless they could unhinge their jaw like a snake or had pointy teeth like a shark, they needed to go for the stem (creative problem solving).
Dakota finally got his apple. He didn't figure out the stem thing, instead choosing to empty the bucket one mouthful of water at a time. It took awhile but in the end his unique strategy was successful. He never did win the sack race prize of a single candy corn, although he tried several times and was disappointed because he really wanted that candy corn.


Lemon Dingo said...

I think we are kinda my kids school they are allowed to celebrate the holidays. So there were Halloween parties galore on Friday afternoon at school. Mind you by the time the kids got home at 3:00pm they were ready to start trick or treating thanks to the sugar rush.

Devin said...

Good thing he won the coloring contest.