Scarecrows a fall tradition at Inverness Elementary School

NORTH SHELBY – The scarecrows that are erected annually at Inverness Elementary School represent one of the community’s favorite traditions—and serve as a fundraiser and source of lessons for the school.

Parent volunteers on Oct. 9-10 put up the scarecrows, which are created along the lines of various literary themes and serve as a harbinger of fall, for the 17th year.

“We do it for the community; they love it,” said Kimberly Taylor, the IES Parent-Teacher Organization member who organized the effort for the second year.

The project began earlier, with each class securing a sponsor for $50. All funds collected benefit the school, Taylor said.

Sponsors can provide a sign to be placed alongside the scarecrows or one can be provided for them.

Each grade level selects a theme, and then each class selects a specific book or book series to read, and arts and crafts and writing assignments are created based on the selections.

Themes included “The Day the Crayons Quit” for kindergarten, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a…” for first grade, “Who Would Win” series for second grade and traditional literature for third grade.

Ashley Beavers’ and Kaitlyn Harkins’ third grade classes focused on “Beauty and Beast.”

Beavers asked her students to imagine they turned into an enchanted household object, as happened in the story. What would they choose to be and why?

“I would be a phone because I would be used all the time and I could listen to people’s conversations,” one student wrote.

“I would be a hammer because I love to build with my dad and my grampa like birdhouses,” wrote another.

Meanwhile, parent volunteers including room moms and PTO members are busy creating the scarecrows based on the themes.

“It’s a lot of fun for the moms to get together and do this,” Taylor said.

Finally, the 30 scarecrows were stood up around the school with rebar, fence posts, staple guns, zip ties, safety pins and whatever else deemed necessary to keep them in place.

“Then we just hope they withstand the weather,” Taylor said.

The students go out during a school day to see their scarecrow and take pictures with it.

While some scarecrows are easily visible from Valleydale Road, Taylor encouraged residents in the area to drive through the school parking lot on weekends to see all the others.

“It’s been an Inverness tradition for many years now, and every year people look forward to seeing our scarecrows out front,” Beavers said.