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Next weekend, Saturday, October 21, and Sunday, October 22, voting on the annual Newtown Middle School Eighth Grade Scarecrow Contest is set to run from 9 am to 5 pm at the school, located at 11 Queen Street.
According to NMS art teachers Leigh Anne Coles and Kristen Ladue, roughly 30 scarecrows are expected to be entered in this year’s fundraising contest.
Since the program began in 1996, eighth grade students have been challenged to create a larger-than-life scarecrow that can withstand Mother Nature. While students can work alone, they are encouraged to work in groups.
The money raised from votes goes to the charities of the top three winning groups’ choosings. Once the scarecrows are on display on the front lawn of the school, voting will be open to the public. Members of the public may cast as many votes as they desire, with corresponding $1 donations.
Students who participate in the contest or who volunteer to collect votes while the scarecrows are on view receive community service hours.
Ms Coles and Ms Ladue said students have been working on their creations. Some groups are particularly excited and have been reporting to the teachers or sharing ideas.
Ms Coles said there will be “quite a range” of creations for this year’s contest. Students’ ideas for creating scarecrows were inspired by Disney, cartoons, movies, and objects. Some of the scarecrows will be interactive, according to the teachers.
Since the annual contest is an eighth grade only project, Ms Coles said the students have been looking forward to taking part in the program this year.
Scarecrows will begin to go on display at NMS after school on Friday, October 20. Volunteers will be present to collect ballots on Saturday and Sunday, and the corresponding $1 donations. Votes and donations can also be dropped off before the morning of Monday, October 23, in the mail slot at The Newtown Bee’s 5 Church Hill Road office, addressed to “Eliza.”
Ballots will be available at NMS while voting is open and a ballot will be printed in the October 20 print edition of The Newtown Bee to be cut out.
Photocopies of ballots are acceptable, with the corresponding donations.
The top three winning scarecrows are expected to be announced at the school the week of October 23 and the winning groups will be announced in the October 27 print edition of The Newtown Bee.
Last year’s Eighth Grade Scarecrow Contest first place group received $729, the second place group received $486, and the third place group received $243 from the total raised through public voting. The donations, in order, were given to The Avielle Foundation, FAITH Food Pantry, and Animal Planet’s Reach Out Act Respond (ROAR) foundation.
Ms Coles said the event will be “fun for the family.”