POINT PLEASANT — Fifteen children who recently completed the first grade at New Haven Elementary and Point Pleasant Primary schools went “down on the farm” last week, both figuratively and literally, as participants in a summer enrichment camp.
The camp was funded for the second year through a state “Campaign for Grade Level Reading” grant.
According to Becky Hatfield, elementary curriculum coordinator with Mason County Schools, the theme of the camp this year was farming. Those attending completed fun activities that enriched the areas of reading, math and science. The program ended with trips to the Henderson Dairy Farm and the West Virginia State Farm Museum.
Lisa Bryant, who taught the program at New Haven, said the children read about different kinds of farms, animals on farms, and crops.
“We also germinated seeds, learned parts of a plant, watched water travel through stems using celery, and made butter,” Bryant added.
She stated each student received four books to take home, including both fiction and non-fiction, about farms and plants. They were also sent home with the transparent models in which their seeds were planted, so they can watch as the seeds germinate and the plants grow.
One of the participants said he especially liked the field trips.
“We got to see cows being milked, pet a baby calf, and saw pills that the cows have to take sometimes,” he said about the dairy farm visit.
He also said the farm museum was interesting with its many exhibits. Volunteer Merlie Hart gave the children the museum tour, showing them antique farm equipment, as well as other items.
Hatfield said New Haven Elementary and Point Pleasant Primary schools were chosen for the program because parents could easily provide transportation to and from the five-day camp. Buses were provided for the field trips. She said it is her hope to add a third school to the program next year.
While Bryant taught the New Haven students, Carrie Burns served as the teacher at Point Pleasant. Each teacher also had an aide to assist them.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.