Picking Pumpkins for a Positive Impact

Kareigh Kimbrell

North Panoa students with Como ElementaryThe students of North Panola Career and Technical Center’s teacher academy are serving their community by combining teaching and farm life.

When Angela Walker voiced a few options for community service to her students, they chose to help Como Elementary School students on their fieldtrip to Cedar Hill Farms on Halloween. Aiding as chaperones, the teacher academy students assisted the kindergarten and first grade students as they picked pumpkins and rode ponies.

“The community service gave the students a sense of social responsibility. It helped them to foster a heart for giving back and helping others,” said Walker. “The trip exposed the teens to diversity and multiculturalism. And most of the teens had never been to a farm before, so that was a great experience for them.”

While on the fieldtrip, the teacher academy students placed students on pony rides, supervised students at the pig races, and passed out lunches to the elementary school students. Some teacher academy interns also read It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to the students. The children were awed by the story and continued to talk about how fun it would be spend the night in the pumpkin patch searching for “The Great Pumpkin.”
This experience aids in the teacher academy student’s college and career applications as well; Walker emphasizes to her students that community service highlights that students are well rounded and interested in serving their community in any way that they can.

“Volunteering with elementary school students helped the teacher academy students find their passion and interest as future educators,” explained Walker. “The community service helped students as it impacted them personally and aided them in showing what it means to be helpful in their community and to be a good person.”  

Como elementary students at petting farmNorth Panola teacher academy student pick pumpkins with Como elementary


Connections is the magazine for K-12 career and technical education (CTE) in Mississippi. The biannual publication features students, educators, schools, and organizations from approximately 50 career pathways across 16 career clusters. This Mississippi Department of Education publication is produced by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University. Issues are disseminated in print and electronic forms in May and December each year.

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