Wolfle plants reading seed

KINGSTON — What do reading, practicing magic and holding a contest all have in common?

No, it’s not a Harry Potter book. Rather, it’s Wolfle Elementary School’s annual Garden Show and monthly Family Reading Night, all rolled into one evening at 5 p.m. Sept. 23.

The 2004 Blanche Gray Garden Show, now in its 23rd year, tests Wolfle students to bring in homegrown flowers or vegetables to compete in the horticulture division or create an arrangement to be shown in the design division.

This year’s theme, “Garden Magic,” encourages students to use a magical theme in creating a design. But much like the theme is the way in which the students take to the contest, commented Garden Show co-chair Margie Moore.

“The kids really do the show,” she said. “We supply the ideas and the paper, they supply everything else.”

Last week, the show was held at Gordon, Kingston’s other elementary. And it did not disappoint, remarked Moore — the school boasted 176 entries and 89 participants.

“The kids did amazing things,” Moore said, adding that an 80-pound pumpkin and a Walla Walla sweet “the size of a softball” was shown.

Many different awards are given out at the shows, including a “Walla Voila!” award for the aforementioned gargantuan onion. Students who win the best design and best horticulture item of the evening will either win a trip for four to the Woodland Park Zoo or the Seattle Science Center. But every child in the competition receives a ribbon for participation — and most leave with a smile, commented Moore.

“The children are extremely well behaved and so proud of what they’ve got,” Moore said.

Family Reading Night will be the very same evening for kindergarten through third graders and their parents, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The monthly event includes dinner and then classroom time to read a book, which this time is Leo Lionni’s classic “Inch by Inch.”

Tying into the “Garden Magic” theme, the reading night will include measuring the horticulture — one of the themes of “Inch by Inch” — during the Garden Show.

“They’ll be measuring the biggest squash or the smallest flower,” said Wolfle’s Learning Specialist Pat Bennett-Forman.

Family reading nights at the school were created in conjunction with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Head Start Reading Program.

“One of the main purposes of the reading nights is to provide opportunities for kids and their parents around books,” she said. “We try to engage those kinds of activities.”

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