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Brunswick County Farm Bureau has now jumped on board to become the top supporter of the Embryology in the Classroom 4-H school enrichment program, donating $550 to the Brunswick County 4-H Embryology in the Classroom program to help purchase 90 curriculum books and eggs.
The growing 4-H program, called Embryology in the Classroom, allows students in Brunswick County to observe chicks hatching in their schools.
With more than 48 classrooms participating and 53 classrooms already signed up to do the program again for the 2008-2009 school year, the program is a growing success.
The program is offered to all second-grade classrooms in the county and any other classrooms that want to participate. A summer group at Fort Caswell will be participating in the program in June.
This program is an exciting event for children as they anxiously await the arrival of their chicks to hatch from their eggs. Students from Southport Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Supply Elementary, South Brunswick Middle, Virginia Williamson Elementary, Belville Elementary, Union Elementary, the Village School and several homeschool groups were able to have this experience.
Students learn about the life cycle, basic chicken information and experience hands-on learning as they carefully turn the eggs three times a day in the incubator. They write stories, make memory books and keep journals to supplement this learning project. Some classrooms even have chicken races.
The Brunswick County 4-H program supplies the incubators, eggs, curriculum, brooding boxes, waterers, feeders and heat lamps to the classrooms and in return, the teachers educate their class while the students take on the responsibility of caring for the eggs and hatching out the baby chicks.
Blair Green, 4-H extension agent, delivers the equipment; teachers deliver the educational aspect; and then the equipment and chicks are picked up to recycle back into the program.
“The embryology program was fabulous,” said Jessica Buskirk, second-grade teacher at Belville Elementary. “My students acquired a better understanding of scientific vocabulary and the life cycle process by actually taking part in the program, as opposed to reading about the life cycle of a chicken in a science book. We have built long-lasting memories for these children that will stay with them forever.”
According to Michele Rau, exceptional children teacher at South Brunswick Middle School, “My class really enjoyed the chick program. We are a special needs class that really appreciates any opportunities that integrate our class with the regular education population. Your program did just that. We had lots of regular education kids coming in and out of our room all week to visit the chicks.”
Through the generous support of Brunswick County Farm Bureau, the Brunswick County 4-H office will be able to continue to offer this continually growing and popular program where children can study the development stages of chicks and take part in experiential learning. The program helps students acquire insight into biology through direct experience with living things, their life cycles and their habitats.
For more information about the Brunswick County 4-H Program, Embryology in the Classroom, and the many opportunities offered, contact Blair Green, extension agent, 4-H and Livestock, with the Cooperative Extension Service at 253-2610.