CHICKENS FOR CHILDREN

Sunshine Coast Local News
Ted O'Brien MP

A freshly hatched cohort of feathered friends have been warmly welcomed by students at North Arm State School thanks to a $4,500 Federal Government Grant.

The Chickens for Children project teaches students practical life lessons through collectively nurturing a family of chickens from the incubation period through to adulthood.

Federal Member for Fairfax says that the grant is a real ‘coop’ for the kids in North Arm.

“This program provides so much more than the simple joy of watching eggs hatch,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It’s about the learning and growth opportunities that come with the responsibility of looking after another life.

“This is a great local project and I’m proud to support it.”

The program was brought to life by the North Arm State School P and C who received the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities Grant.

This grant is designed to encourage and support involvement in local projects, improve local community participation and contribute to vibrant and viable communities.

Members of the Coolum Men’s Shed have also thrown their support behind the project through constructing the chicken coup and making the nesting boxes for the eight chickens.

President of the North Arm State School P and C, Aveen Kerr says that the project has been a huge success and has seen a markable impact on student outcomes.

“As this project has comes into fruition, we are finding it to be even better than we could have ever imagined,” Ms Kerr said. 

“We previously had chickens at the school, and it was something that we really wanted to bring back because it really aligns closely with our heart, mind and earth philosophy.

“We just felt that this project was a natural addition to our holistic living education methods as we work towards teaching our children every aspect of life and sustainability.”

The Stronger Communities funding enabled the school to purchase the materials needed to construct the purpose-built chicken coup and nesting boxes.

Additional funding was then used to enlist the services of local company Henny Penny to run the initial incubator program.

During the incubator program, children are taught how to care for and nurture the eggs to give them the best chance of survival.

Ms Kerr says that while it can be hard for the kids, one of the best lessons to be learnt from this process is that ‘things don’t always go to plan’.

“The whole experience has been absolutely amazing, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the grant.”

“The effect of having the chickens in the classroom has been unbelievable, particularly with the older grades, as they have been so gentle, engaged and passionate.”

“We have been able to see that this is a tangible way to improve the educational outcomes of children by providing them with hands on learning.  

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