Kindergarten: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Kindergarten!
Have you ever heard of the Graland Country Day School Great Pumpkin?! Each year, members of the school’s athletics department visit Kindergarten to share this fun tale and to give the students tips on how to spot the Great Pumpkin on campus during their hunt near Halloween.
Legend has it that when farmland still mostly surrounded Graland, and campus only had one building (Georgia Nelson), that a pumpkin patch used to grow where the Kindergarten classrooms are located now. Kindergarteners would care for one particular pumpkin in the patch by feeding it food from their lunches, covering it with blankets, and reading it stories until it grew bigger and bigger, eventually coming to life near Halloween! The pumpkin became very special to the Kindergarteners, and only they could see it… except for one teacher named Mr. Preisser (namesake of Preisser Field). Mr. Preisser promised the kindergarteners that he would come up with a secret magical formula that would make the Great Pumpkin invisible to everyone except Graland kindergarteners. However, the formula (a single orange dot on the students’ earlobes) could only be used once a year, when the kindergarteners would go on a Great Pumpkin Hunt to get a glance of their magical friend. To this day, members of Graland’s athletic department carry out Mr. Preisser’s special tradition for the kindergarteners with his same rules: there must be absolute silence during the hunt, no blinking, and no running after or touching the Great Pumpkin if you spot him!
During the last week of October, this year’s kindergarteners received orange dots on their ears and set out to find the Great Pumpkin. They were ecstatic when they spotted him and carefully followed him as he ran around campus, in amazement that not even their teachers or other students could see him!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.