By Sherry Walker
It has been a exciting week in Mrs. Rebekah Holcomb’s first grade classroom at Lizemore Elementary School. Baby chicks have been incubating for 21 days and have had everyone very excited for the day when the chicks would hatch.
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have caught Mrs. Holcomb having anything to do with chickens, or flapping birds as she called them.
At that time during the 2015/2016 school year she taught 5th grade, and she was asked by a parent if she would like to borrow a incubator to hatch some chicks as a class project. She said no way, I don’t like chickens, I’m scared of them, they are flapping birds. But after a little coaxing she agreed to try it. She soon realized that it was a very exciting project to do for the class. She now has chickens at her own home and I’ve even been told that she has had a few fights with her own little rooster.
After hatching the chicks that year, she applied for a grant that provided her with her own incubator, automatic electric egg turner, and chicken life cycle exploration set that was purchased through a grant from DonersChoose.org. The grant was funded through private individual donations. Our own Clay County School Board of Education member Susan Bodkins was one of the supporters of this grant.
The next school year, Mrs. Holcomb switched classes to teach first grade at LES, but continued the classroom project of hatching baby chicks. A lot of thought and planning goes into a classroom hatch, along with going into the school during weekend and spring break to make sure they are taken care of. Throughout the process the children learn about the life cycle of a chicken and they also get to help candle the eggs with a electric candler during the incubation period to monitor how many chicks are developing and growing inside the eggs. They get to watch the chicks as they hatch, along with all the other grades at LES. I’m sure everyone in the school has had some kind of experience with the chick hatch.
The children get to have a baby chick to take home with permission from parents or guardians.