Fairgrieve’s Harvest Festival benefits needy in Fulton area

The Fairgrieve Elementary School Harvest Festival which celebrates nature, the changing season, fall activities and interests, and of course the bountiful harvest that farmers and growers reap during this season, was held on October 31 at the school.

Students in Sharon Lachut’s second grade class at Fairgrieve Elementary School distribute items they ‘harvested’ into boxes that will be delivered to local food pantries for needy families. The produce items were donated by local farms.

The Harvest Festival featured many presentations and activities that classrooms could sign up for during the day-long event including: maple syrup, apples, basketweaving, pedestrian safety, fire safety, harvest treasure hunt, make your own birdseed, and many more.

The harvest treasure hunt involved students from each class using a wagon to travel through a course on the playground to pick up fruits and vegetables donated by local farms that were located at various stations along the course.

The students gathered the items in their wagon and then returned to the starting point where they unloaded their harvest into boxes that will be distributed to area food pantries.

The students learned the valuable lessons of community service and helping those in need as well as proper nutrition and where food comes from.

Pedestrian safety, an especially important topic on Halloween night, was presented by Billie Crandall Brady, Oswego County traffic safety education coordinator. With Brady is Samson, the safety dog, assisting in illustrating the safety precautions.

Another station, the make your own birdseed, used seeds from flowers grown in the nature garden out back at the school, along with other seeds that organizer Stephanie Ruta brought in from her own garden.

The students created a mix of seeds that will be used to feed birds during the winter months in the bird feeder located in the patio garden at the school.

Pedestrian safety is especially important on Halloween and every day and a presentation by Billie Crandall Brady, Oswego County traffic safety education coordinator, included Samson, the safety dog, who is “strong on safety” to illustrate some of the precautions that pedestrians should take when out after dark or walking on the roadway.

Jim Farfaglia, retired director of Camp Hollis and local author, worked with Fairgrieve Elementary School to publish a book of poems by students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades entitled “Harvest, a collection of poems by Fairgrieve School students” was on hand for a special writing workshop.

Several students who attended a writer’s workshop presented by local writer Jim Farfaglia were featured in last year’s book entitled: “Harvest, a collection of poems by Fairgrieve School students.” The students pictured in front, left to right are: Andru Walts, Faith Mazzaroppi, and Alana White; middle row, left to right: Nolan Gardenier, Justice Carvey and Fiona McInnis. Also pictured, in back are author Jim Farfaglia, left, and Vince Markowsky, Fairgrieve Home School liaison.

Farfaglia encouraged students to use writing exercises to help them open up their inner voice and express their feelings through writing.

Farfaglia also teaches writing workshops at the local CNY Arts Center.

Fairgrieve Elementary has scholarships available for the CNY Arts Center workshops, and interested parties can contact the elementary school if interested in applying for a scholarship to the center.

The Harvest Festival is an annual event at the elementary school and seeks to educate Fairgrieve students on a wide variety of topics including the importance of community service and helping those in need.