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Child holding an apple
Student clinking cups of cider
Student making apple cider

Longtime Tradition of Apple Cidering Continues at VRS

A kindergarten boy grabbed the machine’s wheel and turned it. He had placed his apple pieces into the contraption and – in a combined effort with his classmates – was in the midst of making apple cider.

Virginia Road School was visited by three guests from The Nature of Things, an environmental outreach program, on Sept. 27 and Oct. 2. The PTA-sponsored event returned to help usher in the autumn season.

“This is all about celebrating fall,” said kindergarten teacher Cathy Lewis. “It’s something that sticks with you. Not just because you learn about making apple cider but because you can taste it, smell it and see it. It uses many senses.”

Upon arrival, the visitors showed the different parts of the machine to the students and explained how it worked. They also reviewed the differences between sweet, red apples and tart, green apples.

The children, who had each brought in two apples, grabbed the fruit and readied to make the cider. With the help of the folks from The Nature of Things, they turned the handle and watched the apple become ground up. As they waited their turn, the students sang songs together.

Ms. Lewis commented that the apple cidering event is a hands-on way for children to have a deeper understanding of apples. In class, they prefaced the experience by discussing how apples are grown and what they could make with apples.

“The children were building the connection between the books we read in class and having the first-hand experience,” Ms. Lewis said. “They were so excited about making the cider. They were able to see the whole process, which was new to them. They were quite surprised and were oohing and ahhing when the cider came out of the machine.”

When the cider was ready, everyone was given a cup to taste. They were asked to wait to sample it until everyone in their class had cider poured. In the meantime, they smelled it and were excited that the drink truly smelled like fresh apples. When everyone was ready to drink, they raised their hands in the air and recited a toast together before sipping.