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Bugbee Celebrates National Johnny Appleseed Day 

Bugbee First Graders listen intently as Johnny Appleseed himself entertains the children with a visit, telling his life story and answering their questions. Photo credit: Tricia Rose

West Hartford’s Bugbee Elementary School first-graders celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day on Thursday with a variety of activities.

First Graders watch intently to see how long an apple peel can stay in one piece! Photo credit: Tricia Rose

Submitted by Tricia Rose

In a wonderful tradition of more than 20 years, Bugbee Elementary School’s first grade celebrated National Johnny Appleseed Day with an outdoor celebration on Thursday, Sept. 27. Under the direction of the first grade teachers, and supported by Principal Kelly Brouse and many volunteer parents, it was a day filled with learning, games and lots of fun!

All week long the children learned about the life and contributions of Johnny Appleseed, who was born John Chapman in Massachusetts on Sept. 26, 1774. They learned how he headed west, planting apple trees across the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

The children celebrated the day by not only tasting different varieties of apples and voting for their favorites, but also by guessing the length of an apple peel, playing pass the “hot apple,” running a relay race dressed as Johnny Appleseed, balancing apples on spoons in a relay, and creating crafts with apple halves dipped in paint.

The event culminated with Johnny Appleseed himself arriving through the woods! Johnny, played by West Hartford resident Steven Twist, visited 56 very excited Bugbee children, told his story, and answered their questions. He brought history to life, and shared important lessons about education and conservationism.

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Classmates enjoy the challenge of balancing an apple on a spoon during a relay. CPhoto credit: Tricia Rose

First Grader Ben R. hangs his Apple Art on the fence. Photo credit: Tricia Rose

After taste-testing apples and describing them with their expanding vocabulary, Bugbee First Graders point to their favorite apple! Photo credit: Tricia Rose

Noah L. enjoying the fresh air and fun a dress-up relay race can bring! Photo credit: Tricia Rose

First Grade classmates paint and craft with sliced apple-halves. Photo credit: Tricia Rose

Parent Volunteers Sam Marshall and Shannon Miller help the children see how long an apple peel can be! Photo credit: Tricia Rose

West Hartford resident Steven Twist, dressed as Johnny Appleseed, surprises the First Graders coming out from the woods, at Bugbee Elementary toward the end of their Johnny Appleseed Day Celebration. Photo credit: Tricia Rose

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