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 STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT BIRDS AND NATURE
STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT BIRDS AND NATURE

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT THRIVES AT SUMTER COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Members of The Dogwood Garden Club continue their partnership with Sumter County Elementary School with discussion, video presentation, and hands-on creation of bird feeders and natural habitat creations.

Two years ago, these community-active garden club members began partnership with Sumter County Elementary as they renovated and restored the campus greenhouse and beautified the environmental garden and pond site. Today, Mrs. Joyce Carreker and Mrs. Martha Ridgeway (retired school teachers), along with Mrs. Janice Cliett and Mrs. Mitzi Bacon visited the 5th grade garden club, sponsored by Mrs. Kristen Whittle.
There, Mrs. Ridgeway asked, "Why are birds, birds?" After responses from many students about mammals, birds and nature, Mrs. Ridgeway revealed that feathers are the reason these creatures are called birds.
The discussion continued with class responses concerning 'extinction' and why animals and birds are sometimes on the 'endangered' species list. To visually lead into the coming video presentation, 11 bird-hatch-growth chronological color stamps were given to all students. The hands-on assignment and discussion was correct stamp placement for the birth and life of a bird from egg to adulthood. During the discussion, the pictorial growth of a bird was discussed. Now excited with new information on birds, locally-constructed bird houses were shown. Style, color and maintenance of the houses were discussed in detail. As the lesson led to the blue bird species, a 10-minute video was shown to the class. Produced the The North Carolina Bird Society, "Blue Birds Inside the Nest Box" was shown. With state-of-the art minute camera placement inside the bird house, the educationally-narrated video provided visual construction of a blue bird nest by the future mother of five blue birds. The nest was carefully constructed from twigs and soft natural plants. The mother would "flutter" her wings to provide a "cup" shape for the future arrival of five eggs. With the camera position only inches away, students shared in special moments of birth, incubation, hatching, eye-opening and feeding-intensity of the growing chicks by the camouflage-colored mother and brightly colored bluebird father. The egg-lay to flight of the blue birds takes approximately 18 days.

After follow-up discussion of the birth-cycle of the blue bird, students learned about simple construction of nature-friendly bird sanctuaries. "Visiting Sumter County Elementary School indicates to us that these children are excited about learning. We enjoy our visits and look forward to other partnerships in learning about our world of gardening and care for creatures that help make our world a more beautiful place," said Mrs. Carreker.

Here, before tables laden with natural elements for bird and nature preservation, members of the Dogwood Garden Club and students in 5th grade garden club, gather with Principal Sharon Marcus, at right, to welcome members of the club and a community involvement of learning.

 
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