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Janie McRory and other science teachers
at Cheyenne Middle School in Edmond
have created an environmental curriculum
for seventh graders
that is remarkable.
With grant money, they are guiding their students
through a hands-on learning process
that gives them the opportunity to understand
several aspects of how this organism of a planet
works.
Together, students and teachers have built a stream,
a greenhouse,
raised bed gardens.
They have established many plantings
and raise chickens and guineas
right there on the school grounds.
Their teachers not only teach them
how systems work,
how food gets on their tables,
they also give them time to observe nature.
These teachers recognize the critical value
of children learning to pay attention
to the natural world that is their home.

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Yesterday, I was privileged to visit the school
and spend some time with the seventh graders.
The day before their last day of school,
students participated in an outdoor fair
with exhibits about wind energy,
plants, animals, scientific phenomenon
and sustainability, which is where we
at Turtle Rock Farm could be involved.
As I explained various sustainable practices
at our farm and retreat center
and quizzed them about why having alpacas,
goats, chickens, high tunnels, worms, guineas, bees,
a strawbale and mud house with composting toilet
are sustainable practices,
they already knew many of the answers.
It was heartening to meet suburban young people
who are being introduced in a hands-on way
to the way the planet works
so they can contribute
to sustainable life
for all.
I bow in gratitude
to their teachers.