School Enrichment Program in Henderson County
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Henderson County 4-H offers the Embryology Program for second-grade classrooms. Through this program, students learn about the life cycle of birds as they incubate and hatch Bobwhite Quail eggs. Henderson County 4-H provides training for second-grade teachers, as well as equipment, curriculum, and fertile quail eggs for each class. Volunteers help deliver the eggs to the classrooms, and explain about embryology and 4-H. Students turn the eggs three times a day, and record the time, temperature and humidity in the incubator. They learn the importance of washing their hands before and after they touch the eggs and baby birds.
Teachers report that children demonstrate these practices: developing the skill of responsibility, an increase in interest in wildlife and caring for wildlife, and an improvement in their basic knowledge of science. Other results include an increase in skills in science, student’s class participation, the number of teachers and school officials becoming aware of Cooperative Extension as a resource, and an improvement in students’ critical thinking skills. Teachers also report that the embryology project helped their students aspire to a career in science or a related field. One teacher wrote, “Students took responsibility for the record-keeping, egg turning, and mentored first graders by teaching them about the embryonic development. This gave them great life experience and great material for writing, which is the heart of comprehension.”
Contact Denise Sherrill, 4-H Agent, for more information about this program. Thank you to Community Foundation of Henderson County and a local individual for funding new supplies for this program in 2018, and to many volunteers for helping make it possible. 4-H fundraisers, especially the 4-H Plant Sale, provide for ongoing expenses for this program. Donors and volunteers are always welcome.