Students at St. James Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District are engaged in an outdoor, hands-on learning experience thanks to a new chicken coop and three chickens purchased by the school’s Parent Teacher Association. The coop is housed in an enclosed courtyard area that has floor to ceiling glass walls, so the chickens can be observed at all times.
The outdoor learning space will be used for the study and care of the chickens. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will participate in observing, learning about and caring for our chickens. They will also collect eggs daily, which parents can pick up and bring home.
“We hope this outdoor learning experience will help serve as a concrete example of the life cycle, a closer connection to our food (eggs) and the important role students will have in caring for animals,” said St. James Elementary Principal MaryGrace Lynch.
The chickens have been named for the three character traits the school will highlight throughout the year – Aretha (for respect), Teresa (after Mother Teresa for compassion) and Mickey (after John McCain for courage).
Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District