Students from the Nevis Future Farmers of America (FFA) program provided child care and had the opportunity to visit farm animals at Nevis parent-teacher conferences this spring.
“Our team of officers was working on our activity schedule for the year, when we noticed that we didn’t have many community service or interaction projects,” said Ashley Anderson, an agriculture teacher. “We are in our first year as a program, so we wanted to introduce ourselves to the community and interact with them in a positive way. We saw a need for childcare during parent-teacher meetings, so that parents can concentrate on the task at hand. This has allowed us to meet both of these needs.
The Kowalke family brought chickens, ducks, a dog and a lamb.
“They’ve been vital to the program as a whole, but especially to this event,” Anderson said. “Valarie Tooker provided a variety of plants and the Hegg family brought their goat, Patches, which the students can also interact with.”
The students planned and hosted the entire event, with assistance from Anderson. The district’s substitute teacher, Slade Kangas, supervised the students while Anderson had conference meetings.
“There were 142 students visiting us throughout the event which ran for two Tuesday evenings, totaling eight hours,” Anderson said. “There was a mix of reactions from students and parents, ranging from excitement to fear around the animals. Many students were thrilled with the animals, especially those who had never interacted with farm animals.
“Some parents were extremely grateful to have child care during conferences, so they could have conversations with teachers without worrying about what their children were doing. We are extremely grateful for the community support that has been brought to Nevis FFA and we look forward to future opportunities to give back.