Head Start children get hands-on farming experiences

Head Start children get hands-on farming experiencesPictured, are Keegan, Maeleigh, Hailey, Shayla, Navee, Elliot, Lucas, Farmer Mark, Eliana, and Kayla the calf. Provided photo.

Children need to feel connected to people, places and things. It’s important for them as they learn about how things work and what they do. But being connected to other living things can teach them so much more.

The Athens1 class of Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. recently began a farm study. It was during the first weeks of the study that Farmer Mark Bradley invited the class to adopt a calf from his farm. They adopted Kayla.  

Once it was agreed, Farmer Mark brought Kayla to the Athens1 Head Start center in a cattle trailer. The children couldn’t wait to go outside to spend time with her. When Farmer Mark and Kayla are unable to visit, he communicates with the class by letters, videos, and pictures. He keeps the class updated by sending stories about Kayla’s life on the farm and he encourages questions from the children. This leads to enhanced literacy and advanced vocabulary as the class communicates with Farmer Mark.

“Having this opportunity is such an enriching experience for the children to discover farm life,” said Athens 1 teacher Katie Place. 

She added, “It fosters learning across the curriculum, in so many ways, as they continue this adventure with Farmer Mark and Kayla.” 

For example, in Social Studies it includes learning about how people and animals live on the farm. Math happens as the children track and graph Kayla’s growth and compare it to their own. They will also learn Science facts as they discover the different things Kayla eats as she grows because of her biological makeup.  

The children are extremely excited to have the hands on time with Kayla and Farmer Mark. They so appreciate the chance to learn about her and her life on the farm – all from Farmer Mark.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. is a program that offers state and federally funded programs for pregnant mothers, families and their children, newborn up to the age of five; this includes Early Head Start, Head Start, and Pre-K Counts services. For more information, call (570) 638-1400, visit www.bradfordtiogahs.org, or find them on Facebook. 

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