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Fall fun, chores and small-scale democracy in action | The Homepage

By Laura Gyre

Two light-skinned children and one light-brown-skinned child play in a pile of leaves.
Students at Three Rivers Village School making full use of the fall leaves on a mild day. Photo by Maggie Bogdanich

At Three Rivers Village School, each student and staff member has a daily chore assignment. Mine is to sweep the front steps, which was both a challenge and a lot of fun this month as our big tree turned various shades of gold and dropped a surprising number of leaves.

Fall is definitely in full swing, and one thing that always means at TRVS is a lot of Halloween fun. Spooky decorations started turning up at school, along with increasing amounts of candy. We finished the month of October with one of our biggest parties yet and heard lots of stories about fun trick-or-treating adventures.

Fall fun and elections

Things have calmed down a bit since then, but there’s still plenty going on at school this month. Lots of students have been enjoying the unexpectedly warm weather at the playground, the community garden, and on walking field trips around the neighborhood. Nerf guns have also been popular with many students, leading to lots of community conversations about how to keep that situation safe and fun for everyone.

Like many other people this month, we’ve also had elections on our minds. There are a number of elected positions here, including school meeting chair, announcements meeting chair, and chore clerk. Elections are student-run (like many of our activities), so it’s been interesting to watch this process unfold from planning to execution. What does it take to make a fair election happen? Some of our questions are similar to those asked in the larger world, while others are more specific to our student body. For example, how do you make an election process fair for kids who need help reading?

The last big fall project

Students have one more fall project in mind, which is to build a gaga ball pit (a walled playspace for a type of dodgeball). Since this will probably be easier to build and more fun to play in before it gets cold, figuring this out might be a major focus in the coming month.

Meanwhile, we’re almost ready to start looking toward winter. We have lots more holiday plans in progress, and I’m thinking that I might need a snow shovel to finish my chore by this time next month.

Laura Gyre is a staff member at Three Rivers Village School.

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