Field becomes a farm North Bergen preschoolers pick pumpkins

small>A grassy portion of land that borders North Bergen High School’s Bruins Stadium was turned into a pumpkin patch last week for the preschool students who attend the Early Childhood Development Center.

The annual tradition allows students, who attend school alongside the stadium, to pick their very own pumpkin.

School Supervisor Esther Alamo said that the students have gotten to enjoy autumn in different ways. Early in the school year, the students went apple picking.

“We truly feel a lot of pleasure because they’re enjoying what nature has to offer,” said Alamo. Preschool student Franklin Robles said that he was going to be his favorite superhero for Halloween, Spiderman. Robles said that he picked a “baby” pumpkin because he likes babies.

Student Byrana Arreaga chose her particular pumpkin “because it’s big [and] you can paint faces on it.”

Her father Wilmer said that he thought the day was fun and that activities like that one should be part a young child’s life.

Teacher Tara Ortiz said that a day of pumpkin picking allowed her students to experience a “farm” while still being in a school setting. She said her charges were “thrilled” to bring a pumpkin home.

Holiday fun

The day also allows teachers to do a variety of arts and crafts with the children afterwards, allowing them to decorate in class or at home with their families.

“Children enjoy Halloween, and this is the prelude to that,” said Assistant Superintendent and Mayor Nicholas Sacco, who took pictures with each classroom of students. “It gets them out, it gets them active, and they enjoy it.”

Students get ready

At the event, student Yolani Gonzalez held her recently “picked” pumpkin and said she was going to be a butterfly for Halloween. Gonzalez said that her favorite part of Halloween is going trick-or treating, because of the candy.

Her fellow classmate Isabella Otero said, “I’m going to be Ariel [the Little Mermaid] for Halloween because I got it from the Disney Store.”

Byrana Arreaga said she was going to be a witch because of the black hat. Bryan Gramajo said that he would be a mouse for the holiday.

Jorge Morfi, who will be a fireman because he wants to grow up and become one, said that his favorite part of Halloween is picking out a pumpkin.

“I just enjoy being with the children and the staff,” said Sacco. “It’s just fun watching them, kidding around, asking them, ‘Is that my pumpkin?’ ”

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