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Student sees Crossroads as place of hope

Cove Leader-Press
One little chick pecked and pecked, breaking the hard shell that encased him. First, you saw his beak and next his fluffy head popped out. He was the first chick from a dozen eggs to enter the world at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy. There was one more chirping away as he was wiggling his way out of his shell. When the children returned to school the next day on Monday, more chicks began to hatch and the youngsters were very excited to see what they had learned only in books come to life. Pre-K students were studying different life cycles in the school’s premiere science lab. The toddlers planted seeds and grew flowers for their Mother’s day gifts. They also studied the life cycle of butterflies. Tricia Michalk, an interventionist at Martin Walker Elementary School, provided with the eggs so the 3- and 4-year olds could see the life cycle of a baby chick. The chicks were incubated for 21 days. In a small basket in front of the incubator was a small plastic visual of the chicks’ development that was changed out every few days as they grew. Riley Tomblin, 4, took it upon himself to check on the chicks every morning before the start of school. “They ate chick food made from oatmeal. I named them Clarissa, Jewell, and Bubba,” he said. The project met state Pre-K learning guidelines by helping the toddlers learn and understand many new words including hens, hatch, egg, chick, beak, incubator, life cycle, and feathers. Leigha Rohrs, 4, learned the animals’ anatomy. “They have feet, wings, and fur,” she said. “They were really soft.” The students, like 5-year old Jaliyah Davis, learned that just because a bird has wings, that does not mean it can become airborne. “One tried to fly. It didn’t get very far,” she said. “I got to carry one, and it was chirping because it wanted its mommy.” “I holded them, and then one flew out of my hands,” added Georgia July, 4. “They didn’t fly very far because they don’t have all their wings,” said Zoe Francis, giggling. “They were cute.” The young students were able to use category labels commonly encountered in everyday life and were able to describe the life cycle of the birds. “We got to feel them, hold them, and look at them. They walked on the newspaper, and one pooped,” said Rylen Oblerle, 5, snickering with embarrassment at sharing the event. But, now it was time to bid the chicks farewell. “Bye-bye, chicks,” the students called out, waving to their furry friends. Teacher Kristina Cox and her daughter Emily carried the chicks home to raise leaving the children with their memories of lessons learned.

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