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Patterson Farms, schools plan big day for reading, health

The Rowan/Salisbury School System’s media and food services departments and Patterson Farm of Mt. Ulla are teaming up again this fall for an all-day Promote Reading and Healthy Lifestyles Game Day event for students, ending with Color Runs at the farm for adults and children.

The event will be held at the farm Saturday, Oct. 3, beginning at 10 a.m., following an author visit on Friday, Oct. 2, by children’s best-selling author and former Atlanta Falcons football star Tim Green. The event is part of the schools’ month-long emphasis on reading, physical activity and healthy eating. Green began writing children’s books in 2007 and since then has made more than 900 school visits, speaking to nearly a half million kids about the importance of reading, education and good character. He promotes the “Play 60. Read 20” challenge of reading 20 minutes for every 60 minutes of play. He calls books “weight-lifting for the brain.”

The 2015 Dewey Dash Color Run, “Color Me Healthy,” will be held at 6 p.m., preceded by a half-mile Little Dewey Color Run for ages 10 and under at 5:30 p.m. Early registration is $20, with pre-registration at sportoften.com or visitpattersonfarm.com. After Tuesday, Sept. 15, registration is $30. The Little Dewey Color Run is $10.

“Here at the farm we promote healthy lifestyles and healthy eating,” said Michelle Patterson, director of fun at Patterson Farm Market & Tours. “We are honored to be working with the schools on this event.”

The Saturday event at the farm will include a seminar on “Cooking Healthy for Your Family” by Lisa Altman, catering manager for school food services.

High school students or teams will participate in a Healthy Tailgating competition at 3 p.m., with judging on creativity, presentation and taste. A people’s choice winner will be selected.

A students’ digital healthy eating recipe contest, with recipes to be compiled into a book, will be part of the event. Students may submit recipes through Friday, Sept. 25, at www.rssrreads.com/Students. Competitions are divided into K-grade 3, grades 4-8, and grades 9-12 with submissions in the following categories: snacks, main course, side dish, and dessert. Gift certificates will be given as prizes.

Students are encouraged to wear a school spirit shirt/jersey for discount admission to the farm. A Jersey Contest will be held with the school with the most school spirit shirts/jerseys present winning a school-wide tailgate party.

Students who reach their reading goals with their media coordinator will get free admission to the farm on Oct. 3.

A lending library will be available. Additional family fall activities at the farm include the “Food for Thought” Maze, playground and picnic areas, The Barnyard, Barnyard Ball Zone, Cow Barrel Train Ride, pony rides, Make Your Own Scarecrow, pumpkin patch, checkers, corn ball, corn hole, corn pit, duck races, face painting, farm-to-table play area, hay bale maze, hay bale tunnel, tractor-drawn hayrides, mud pie station, pallet maze, pig races, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin tether ball, sand pit, spider web, tic tac toe, tomato cannon, tomato slingshot and Tractor Tire Mountain.

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