I LOVE that one of the first things visitors and, for that matter, all of us, can see when we come on campus is our chickens. I love to tell folks that whereas most children have to wait all year for a visit to the petting zoo either with their families or on a school field trip, if at all, our students will not only get to see our chickens every day, but touch them, feed them, harvest their eggs, and observe their behavior. Not only that, but raising animals is rich in curricular connections. Consider the economics of raising animals. What are the costs? What is the potential income? Can you envision student work where students project the costs of feeding the animals over a year? How about projecting the potential income over a year if we were to sell the eggs? How might students monitor the animals' health and growth over a year? What might students learn about life cycles? What might students read to get a better sense of how to maintain healthy animals and to increase egg production? How about the ethics of raising animals? How might visiting farms in our community help students better understand how to manage our little farm? Who might they talk to? Who might they invite to come on campus as a consultant? Do you see the possibilities?
Agriculture, the arts, and the environment, are our focus at CHCS. They are the themes and lenses through which standards will not only be met, but exceeded. Our vision is to increase our farm animal population and to begin planting crops soon. This work will be student-centered, student-driven, student-planned, and student-maintained. We want students from Kindergarten through 6th grade to take ownership of our agriculture program. I can't wait to see what happens!