The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 31, 2012

A pumpkin explosion at Douma Elementary

OTTUMWA — The library at Douma Elementary School has a lot of character. Though it might be more accurate to say it simply has a lot of characters.

The librarian and the school secretary told Principal Jeff Hendred that to promote the school’s upcoming book fair, they wanted students and teachers to decorate pumpkins so they’d look like characters from library books. They got the go ahead, made the announcement — and waited.

“I didn’t even know if anyone was going to do it,” said Jill Morgan, the school secretary who talked on the phone with their “Scholastic Books” sales representative to come up with the idea.

Two weeks went by.

“After a while, a few came in. Four of them. And that’s when it happened,” said Joni Nicholson, the school librarian. “I’m running out of room to put them all, but that’s a good problem.”

The school population saw how “wild” the first four were; kids were surprised to see pumpkins completely painted, or with accessories glued to them or pinned to other pumpkins to make shapes.

“There were no rules,” said Morgan, “except it had to be based on a book.”

The first few that got the ball rolling, they said, included a green Grinch, a black cat, a scarecrow and Spiderman. It’s nearly impossible to see the color orange on any of those.

“It’s so cool,” said Nicholson. “ We usually do some sort of promotion for the book sale, but this is the most kid centered.”

It’s not a contest, she added.

Which makes the creativity — and the number of submissions — all the more surprising to the two organizers. They’d hoped for a dozen entries this first year. There were 57 entries Tuesday morning. And more are arriving.

“Kids keep coming in just to see the new pumpkins,” said the librarian, “and parents are coming to the library after school.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Iowa Lottery Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook