Photo: Shaun Rickerl shows 2-day old chicks to her Kindergarten class.
This school year, Sandia Academy implemented an agriculture program which is designed to introduce students to gardening and raising and showing poultry. The two-part program is taught by Kindergarten teacher Shaun Rickerl and sixth grade teacher Kristy Croft, and is geared toward students in each grade level. Students in the “Ag” Program tend to the school garden twice a week, and spend classroom time learning about the breeds, care, diseases and terminology that applies to poultry, particularly chickens.
Sandia’s Ag Program recently received 12 chicks from Van Wagoner’s Dutch Farms in Joshua Tree, Calif. The breeds delivered were researched and selected by the students. As the chicks were shown to the students, even the youngest Kindergarteners were able to identify the specific breeds by name. The chicks will be housed under an appropriate heat lamp in Rickerl’s class, until they are large enough to graduate to their chicken coop.
As a culmination of the year, several students are expected to show the chickens at the San Bernardino County Fair in May.