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Crafty attempts: Westfield second-graders try luck with leprechaun

Second-grader Michael stands beside his leprechhaun village trap.

WESTFIELD — We don’t know if the leprechaun who plays tricks every St. Patrick’s Day at Westfield Academy and Central School was wearing a mask, but he certainly maintained social distancing as he kept out of sight and eluded capture by the students.

Nonetheless, second grade students did their best to capture the little guy with creative leprechaun traps, which each pupil presented in the elementary gym and via live stream.

For more than 30 years, WACS second graders have built leprechaun traps, which they ordinarily display at the Leprechaun Invention Convention in the hall outside the main auditorium.

Elementary Principal Dr. Mary Rockey said every attempt is being made to keep up traditions in the elementary school while maintaining COVID-19 protocols.

“The only real difference is they were in the elementary gym and the presentations were live-streamed to the parents,” she said. “(District Technology Coordinator) Can Tenamore did the live streaming and he will post the link on the school website.”

Second-grader Elliott displays his Dance Party trap.

Each student proudly described their trap and how it worked to catch a leprechaun, many of which used gold coins as bait. The presentations included a Leprechaun Hall of Fame, a Leprechaun Dance Party, Quick Sand for Leprechauns and a Leprechaun Village with traps throughout.

The second-graders have been building the leprechaun traps since the 1980s when now-retired teacher, Katherine Lydon Wollaston, began the tradition. Wollaston has since written a children’s book about leprechauns called Heart of Gold.

It’s just the second grade that does the Leprechaun Invention Convention, Rockey said. Their teachers, Samantha Eklund, Tamara Meyer. Brianna Hunt and Michael Putney commended the inventiveness of their students and enjoyed the event as much as their pupils.

The inventors used Lucky Charms, Legos, paper mache, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrock-shaped marshmallows, green fedoras, shamrocks, pulleys, ornaments, buttons and assorted figurines to create their traps.

“They did a great job, as usual,” Rockey said.

Photos by David Prenatt WACS second-grade students prepare to take their leprechaun traps back to their classrooms.

As in previous years, the artful leprechaun pulled his pranks, but remained unseen.

“He’s been a bit naughty today in the school,” Rockey said. “He sprinkled glitter all over the classrooms, stepped in green paint and left foot prints, and even used a green rope to climb in the window.”

Rockey noted that the crafty little guy doesn’t even remember to flush the toilet.

“He used the bathrooms in the rooms and left the water green and glittery,” she said.

While the traps held great promise for capturing the mischievous little fellow, it seems he was not ensnared.

The children are not dismayed because they realize that, according to legend, leprechauns are great escape artists, and if you see one, you can never take your eyes off of him or he will disappear.

Nevertheless, Westfield secondgraders will not give up.

“We haven’t caught him yet but we’re still trying,” said Rockey. “And we’re going to keep trying until we get him!”

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