- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Students at Blandford Middle School were hard at work last week taking care of 125 baby chickens for their egg business.

The high-achieving Grand Rapids Public Schools’ theme school offers 60 sixth-graders a unique hands-on learning experience, according to The Grand Rapids Press (https://bit.ly/1B6uuFd ). The classroom is as much the surrounding ponds and woods as it is the school building.

Cheri McKay, a teacher at the school for 16 years, said students get an economics lesson running the day-to-day operations of the chicken business, in which they are selling eggs to family, friends and the nature center’s community garden customers.

“I think one of the biggest lessons they learn is that it takes work - a lot of time and effort,” she said. “They also learn that animals have to be taken care of constantly because if you slack off, they can die.”

She said students are particularly excited to work with this new crop of baby chicks because last year, they had to have 100 chickens put down because they developed Mareks disease, a viral tumor-causing illness.

“It was an incredible learning experience, but now we are starting over,” she said.

In addition to showing the baby chicks a lot of love, McKay said the students cleaned them thoroughly, fed them and made sure they had new bedding.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids


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