PS 205 kids haunt Queens Garden Center

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It may be a part of the city, but students at PS 205 in Bayside got a chance to know what it feels like to romp in the country during the school's annual harvest festival last week.

Complete with a pumpkin patch, dried corn stalks, a large garden and Halloween decorations, the sixth annual event gave every student the chance to participate and enjoy the season, Principal Susan Sherer said. The Bayside school is at 72-25 Bell Blvd.

Decked out in her own unique Halloween style - complete with pumpkin earrings, a spider pin, and Halloween socks - Sherer smiled as she described the work that goes into the school's yearly festivities.

"Every year it grows and grows," she said. "They get to pick their own pumpkins. It's a safe way to spend the holiday, and for some of them, it's the first garden they've ever seen."

The Queens Garden Center provided 400 pumpkins for this year's patch, and all aspects of the school community participate, Sherer said, including students, parents, teachers, and custodial staff.

"It become a schoolwide project," she said.

Parent-Teacher Association President Debbie Strassberg said "this is really one of the most favorite times of the year here. Everybody gets involved and everybody gets to show off."

Each class participates in the harvest festival by creating, designing and making life-size sculptures of favorite literary characters or subjects.

This year's projects resulted in a large, brightly colored caterpillar and butterfly, a Harry Potter character, a huge spider's web from the classic children's story "Charlotte's Web," and two headless scarecrows representing the Subway Series.

For Jaclyn, 10, of Bayside, whose fifth-grade class created two scarecrows celebrating their graduation, the projects were exciting because "it's fun to see what other people did."

Sherer said the garden allowed students to recognize the significance of the harvest season and what it means to plant and gather crops. Science teacher Fran Bosi credited parents with helping to gather the fruits of the student's garden labors and in preparing the food that comes from it.

The garden "becomes a unit the students work on," Sherer said. "It's so fundamental to everything they learn."

Through all the fun and work that comes along with PS 205's annual festival - Sherer joined her custodial staff before 7 a.m. last Thursday to help set up - the most worthwhile aspect is showing the students how "interconnected" the world is.

"It's about making real world connections between what they're reading and how it works," she said.


Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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