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Student agriculture group educates second graders

Block and Bridle: Elementary students get 'different perspective on life' at ASU ranch

By Adam Washington
On March 8, 2012

  • Sheep tend to their young at the ASU Ranch. Pam Belcher

Local second grade students experienced rural farm life Friday at the ASU Management Instruction and Research Center for Barnyard Day, hosted by Block and Bridle Club.

Block and Bridle Club annually hosts Barnyard Day, which provides a hands-on learning experience for Crockett Elementary second graders.

Reporter for Block and Bridle Kelley Harlow said the children come out to learn about the byproducts of sheep, where their clothes come from, where their food comes from and other topics.

"It exposes kids to a part of life they may not get at home," Harlow said. "The kids who are raised within city limits don't get to see what agriculture is all about."

Barnyard Day allows the children to get out of school for a day and get a different perspective on life, Harlow said.

Harbin taught the children where food comes from.

"These days, a lot of people think their meat just comes from H-E-B, and no one really knows where it comes from," Harbin said. "We bring the kids out to show that people actually raise cows, horses, goats and sheep."

Although Barnyard Day is for second grade students, special education students got to enjoy the fun and educational experience.

Kyla Stone, member of the Council for Exceptional Children helped supervise the special needs children while they learned about the animals.

"Even though we live in San Angelo and there is agriculture all around us, a lot of the kids don't understand its importance," she said. "It's an experience, and kids learn through experience."

It is imperative to get the kids out of the classroom and into a hands-on environment, Stone said.

Giving the students an opportunity to see and interact with the animals produces an opportunity for higher-level thinking, she said.

Treasurer of Block and Bridle Corey Burson said the main things students learn are responsibility and the differences between the animals.

"The kids learn how to take care of a variety of animals they may have never seen," Burson said.

She said the most rewarding part is listening to the children's questions, realizing how much they didn't know, and seeing what they have learned at the end of the day.

Second grade teacher of Crockett Elementary Jennifer Timm said Barnyard Day is important because it relates to classroom curriculum.

Timm had just taught the children about natural resources such as animal resources and cotton.

The second graders learned the difference between man-made resources and natural resources, but most of them had no hands-on experience.

"Letting the kids come out here and touch real wool on a live animal is pretty impressive; they won't forget it," Timm said.

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