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Farm Life at Manteo Elementary School

One first grade class at Manteo Elementary School just finished a learning experience not easily forgotten.

Jesus Hernandez-Romero, a student in Mrs. Walthall’s first grade class at Manteo Elementary School holds up one of two baby chicks the class watched hatch in the classroom. Students used the experience to learn a number of different facts about chickens. (Philip S. Ruckle Jr. photo)

After carefully watching over seven eggs for 21 days, the class of 17 boys and girls recently became the proud surrogate parents of two baby chicks.

More than a science project, the exercise in animal husbandry provided students with an opportunity to watch and observe, to research and study, and learn a number of new things about the life cycle of chickens.

“It’s not something most kids today get to do,” said Suzie Allison, who this past fall had already brought in a goat, turkey, puppy, chicken and a rooster for the first grade class.

Convinced that children would benefit from the exposure, Allison pitched the idea to her son’s teacher, Jo Ann Walthall.

“I’ve always thought that there is not enough exposure to animals and farming and gardening for kids,” explained Allison. “It’s a really great thing for them to learn at this young age and without people bringing it in they just don’t get the chance to do that. Mrs. Walthall was on board right away.”