Saturday, September 21, 2019

IWCS and the County Fair: Providing Learning Experiences for our Students

Did you make it to the Isle of Wight County Fair last week?  If not, you missed out on a wonderful event.  I stopped by on Friday morning to see our students who were on a field trip to the fair.  All of our preschoolers, first, and second graders had an opportunity to visit the fair.  They visited the agriculture tent where they were greeted by one of our Agriculture students and a chicken from the Land Lab.  As they filed in the tent, some stopped to touch the bird's feathers, while others gave the bird a quick study.  Inside, they found more animals from our Land Lab, including goats, cows, and a donkey.  Farm Manager Daniel Judkins, Agriculture teacher Jason Brittle, and more Ag students shared information with the students about the livestock and answered many questions from the curious youngsters.  It seemed the most asked question was "Can I pet it?"  (Of course the answer was Yes)  They also saw crop plants that play an important role in the county's economy--cotton, peanuts, corn.

Opportunities like this are invaluable to our students.  Many of them have never seen these animals in real life, or they didn't realize that peanuts grow in the ground and cotton comes from a plant.  It is important to provide our students with exposure to these unique experiences.  It expands their understanding of real world situations and increases their chance for success both in and out of school.

The fair also demonstrates the partnership between the schools and the county.  IWCS was featured in one of the tents at the fair where we showcased student work from all of our schools.  A big Thank You to Instructional Coordinator Kristan Formella who organized our displays and the volunteers to man the tables throughout the weekend.  In addition, all of our schools decorated hay bales which were lined up at the entrance to the parking areas.  Both of our high schools bands performed at the fair and entertained the students during their field trip.

I had a fabulous time at the fair.  As much as I enjoyed it, I know the students enjoyed it even more.
And while it may seem like it was just a "field trip", it was a learning experience that provided students with exposure to new situations and environments.  Experiences like this are what our students need to better prepare them for the future.

Here's a short video from my day at the fair.  You'll see quite a few of our students, staff, and volunteers in the clip.  And, of course, the farm animals make an appearance.