One look out the window makes one thing perfectly clear in Kansas City: fall has arrived.
During a year of uncertainty and unrest, the familiarity of the trees changing colors and pumpkin decor provides comfort and consistency for many. A sense of normalcy in the most unsettling year most of us have ever experienced is ushered in with the predictable rustling of falling leaves.
And pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins.
To celebrate autumn’s arrival, United Inner City Services (UICS) students created pumpkin masterpieces. Thanks to our incredible community partner, Suburban Lawn & Garden, UICS brought the pumpkin patch to our little learners!
Every student selected their very own pumpkin to explore and decorate. Jubilation filled all three UICS centers as students used paint, pom poms, flowers, feathers, and other supplies to embellish their pumpkins and relish in the changing season.
However, pumpkins aren’t the only thing we love about fall at UICS….
UICS students and staff shared what they enjoy most about this special time of year:
“Jumping in the leaves!”
Chloe, UICS-Metro Center student, age 4
“Honestly, I love all of the outdoor time I get to spend with my family. I also love the colors of fall and how cozy everything feels.”
Ashley Jones, UICS-St. Mark Center Teacher
“I love bringing in pumpkins and exploring them with the children. We make predictions as to whether they will sink or float. We investigate the outside and inside. We play with the seeds and all the gooey insides. And the children and I love making all things pumpkin to eat!”
Amanda VanNatta, UICS-North Center Teacher
“I like it ‘cuz I get to wear my new jacket!”
Kingston, UICS-St. Mark Center student, age 3
“Watching football and drinking peppermint hot chocolate!”
Gene Willis, Chief Engagement Officer
“Eating chilis and soups, watching the leaves change colors, wearing snuggly clothes, and just knowing this kickoffs the holiday season.”
Melissa Funaro, UICS-Metro Center Interim Early Learning and Inclusion Director
“I love pumpkins! I like to play with the stuff on the inside and feel the outside.”
Bri’ele, UICS-North Center, age 5
“I love the fashion! I get to wear fun pants, fun jackets, fun scarves, and fun booties. Fall is also quiet, and I like the quiet.”
Liz Freeman, Grants Specialist
“Fall is great! We get to decorate pumpkins!”
Mari, UICS-St. Mark Center student, age 3
“My favorite fall activities are watching football (GO CHIEFS!), eating apple cider donuts, and taking nature walks.”
Valerie Archer, UICS-North Center Family Advocate
For many of us, delighting in the fall season stems from the nostalgia of happy memories and effervescent experiences. UICS is sustained by the hope that, even with the noise and chaos of the world, we can offer opportunities of bliss for our students and families.
As we enter a season of giving and celebrating differently than years past, UICS revels in the smiling faces of UICS’ little learners decorating pumpkins and the comforting cadence of life continuing to grant special moments of joy and connection.