Harvest Time: Yuba River Charter School commemorates the autumnal equinox (PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com

Harvest Time: Yuba River Charter School commemorates the autumnal equinox (PHOTO GALLERY)

Autumn is upon us, and the students, staff and families of Yuba River Charter School honored the changing of seasons Friday with its annual Harvest Festival.

The atmosphere was lively, with the school’s second and fourth graders performing “Sir George and the Dragon,” a timely tale of a mighty king taming a dragon that represents the darkness that winter bestows upon the earth. Following the play, guests enjoyed cider fresh from the apple press, face painting, live music by the Banner Mountain Boys and a school-wide potluck.

Yuba River Charter recently opened its new campus off Rough and Ready Highway, and event organizers enjoyed the additional space the new location offered Friday’s festivities. The school relocated from the former Nevada City Elementary campus in downtown Nevada City this summer.

“Every year we have the Harvest Festival. It’s part of the Waldorf curriculum here and part of our celebration of the changing of the season,” said event coordinator Laura Hazelton. “We’re transitioning into the darker time of the year and this is a chance for us to bring to light the fact that we all have our inner light and we are going to let that shine throughout the winter.”

Students participated in a number of activities that served as a “barn-raising” of sorts.

“We have this beautiful opportunity of, our campus buildings are done but our grounds aren’t,” said Hazelton. “Normally we do a lot of crafts and games and this year we are having a barn-raising. We have some major projects happening and we are using all this energy to make this happen.”

Hazelton said the students would be building a dry river sandbox, planting flowers in wine barrels, creating an outdoor classroom, and building tree slab benches.

Kids received a bead with every completed activity, creating a necklace that would remind them not only of their participation but of the power of the community spirit which is such a vital part of the charter school and its families.

Students also contributed nonperishable food items, to be donated to the Food Bank of Nevada County in an effort to help families in need.

“Today is really a celebration,” said Hazelton, “and it’s so much about community.”

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.

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