Students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School enjoy a hayride around the Green Bank Telescope at the Green Bank Observatory Friday during the school’s annual Harvest Day. B. Nottingham photo

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer
Green Bank Elementary Middle School was alive with the sounds of learning Friday when it hosted its 27th annual Harvest Day.

Presenters came out to teach the GBEMS students things that are not a part of the school’s curriculum.

Those who volunteered their time were from Pocahontas County, and some of them were GBEMS staff.

One of them was Julian Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse showed up with all of his 100+ year old engines to show the kids how people conducted energy more than a century ago.

“It was love at first sight,”  Rittenhouse said. “When I first laid eyes on my first hit and miss engine, I instantly fell in love. After many years of digging and finding really old power sources, I am where I am now, with a barn full of amazing pieces of history. I get to demonstrate the many different ways that you can create power, from harvesting the power of the sun through a magnifying glass to light a piece of paper on fire, all the way to gas burning engines. It’s just a really neat thing, and the kids seem to love it.”

Presentations of the day included goat raising, running a portable sawmill, search and rescue bloodhounds, hay rides, old-time games, and many others.

Marsha Beverage, a teacher at GBEMS, has been in charge of Harvest Day for several years now.

“Green Bank Elementary Middle School started Harvest Day as a way to nullify just dressing up for Halloween,” Beverage said, “and to provide a more informative and fun way of learning for the kids. They needed a way to find interest in learning, and I feel that we have achieved that. My main goal is to make sure everything runs smoothly and gets planned accordingly. I usually start planning months ahead to try and get fun and interesting items planned out for our students.

“We also have a room we call the Hospitality Room for the presenters and staff. Everyone usually brings a dish or two, so that everyone can have a nice meal in the middle of the day. It’s always a fun time, and we always have some new people that come in to keep things fresh.

“We have some staff members working here today that talk about the great fun they had at their Harvest Day back when they were in school. The kids really seem to love it, even if they are in middle school and act like they don’t.”

Adding to the fun and harvest theme, students gathered late in the afternoon for a Harvest Dance, and enjoyed the antics and music of Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters.