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Sandy Journal

'The kids love it,' Jordan Valley students receive 300 pumpkins from Utah Corrections

Oct 31, 2019 05:05PM ● By Julie Slama

(Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Some of the brightest smiles are coming from Jordan Valley students as they were allowed to pick their favorite pumpkin from 300 that the Utah Correctional Industries brought to create a pumpkin patch in front of the students’ school. 

Amongst those was Julia Call, who smiled and showed her classmates, school and Canyons School District officials and Utah Correctional staff her pumpkin. 

“Their excitement on their faces – (this) brings so much joy to them,” said paraeducator Aubry Biesinger, who works at the district’s school for students with severe mental and physical disabilities. 

Substitute Principal Karen Medlin said that for years, pumpkins have been brought to the school – even when she taught at Jordan Valley in the 1980s. “The kids love it,” she said. “They know what Halloween is so this is exciting that they can pick out their own pumpkin.” 

Director of Utah Correctional Industries Scott Crowther said that they’ve officially been donating pumpkins the past six or seven years, and beforehand, it was a volunteer effort. Now, it’s part of their apprenticeship program which allows offenders to put in 6,500 hours while learning horticultural skills where they grow annuals, perennials and other vegetables amongst providing 1,000 pumpkins per year to Jordan Valley, Kauri Sue Hamilton School, Primary Children’s Hospital and children at domestic violence shelters, he said. “It’s a good community outreach to help these children,” Crowther said.