We have been presenting Harvest Fest in our schools for a few years now, and every year it is more fun. The littlest children in their costumes – princesses, superheroes, all kinds of animals – are so adorable.

Why do we have our own event? We started Harvest Fest to provide a safe, affordable way to celebrate as families, rather than sending children into the night on an occasion that becomes more adult-oriented every year.

We have games and contests – some athletic, some creative, and others just happy fun – to keep the students active and because October’s early evenings in Arizona are wonderful.

Harvest Fest is also an important fundraiser. It’s a chance for our neighbors and community members to get to know us. If you have friends, colleagues and others who regularly help you with fundraising, treat them to tickets. (Save money by buying your tickets early.) They can have a fun time and see for themselves where their donations go.

Here’s one more reason to celebrate: As parents/charter school educators, our lives are all about cultivation and growth. We must put in individual effort, day in and day out, for our children to show progress by the end of the season. You can’t shortcut or rush it. You can only provide consistent stimulation and a fertile environment, coaxing a child to sprout and bloom.

Yet every so often, we can put our hectic schedule on pause, and see our season of work reflected in the glowing faces and curious minds around us. This is the real bounty of Harvest Fest, and it warms the autumn night.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday, Oct. 25. I hope everyone has a wonderful time.