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Kelso Elementary project not just for the birds

Scarecrows made by students auctioned to parents
by: Garth Guibord, Richard Phillips, far right, won the silent auction for the recycling-themed scarecrow and then gave it back to the third grade class who made it. Teacher Chris Goede stands at far left.

Parents of Kelso Elementary students got to crow over their children's latest classroom creations: scarecrows. And then they bought them.

Ten classes at Kelso Elementary School participated in the project designed to get kids to work together, as well as reinforce the lessons from the classroom. Each class picked a theme for their scarecrow, and with the help of the Community Club, they were sold in a silent auction during the parent-teacher conferences.

'It was just a fun activity for kids to communicate and collaborate,' said Kelso Principal Pat Sanders. 'I got the idea from visiting Hood River schools.'

One scarecrow, which was based on the human body, was made from PVC pipe for bones and bags of candy for internal organs. Another was comprised of recyclable materials. Others included a guide dog, a pirate and a monkey inspired from a story the class read.

All together, the auction brought in $172 that will be returned to the classrooms. And while this was the first year for scarecrows, organizers are already looking forward to doing this again.

'I think it went extremely well,' said Tracy Hoyle, member of the Community Club and coordinator of the silent auction. 'We raised money the classrooms wouldn't have had. I think every year it will only get better.'

And money wasn't the only thing returned to the classroom. Richard Phillips won the recycled scarecrow and decided to donate it to the class that created it - which includes his daughter, Kayla.

'I just thought it was neat, the way it was put together,' said Phillips. 'I want to donate it back to the class, so it can be in there the rest of the year so they can think about recycling.'