During the month of March, students at Daisy Brook all participated in a special annual reading program. This was the 5th year of Daisy Brook Reads, and it just seems to keep getting better each year. Our chosen book was Poppy by Avi. Each student and staff member received a copy of the book to read at home aloud with their family. At school, we participated in assemblies, projects, and cross-curricular activities that helped to unite our entire school community around a single book. This year, we were fortunate to receive a grant from The Maxwell T. Hamilton Grants for Educators. The grant allowed us to integrate science and art into our school wide literacy program.
For the art portion of the program, Daisy Brook was treated to the work of local chainsaw sculptor, Alonzo Montoya. Mr. Montoya came to our school and carved a 6-foot chainsaw sculpture of an owl in a tree that will be a permanent display and reminder of our experience with Poppy. Mr. Montoya (along with his wife and son) returned for a second day to work with Daisy Brook 5th graders. We spent the day learning carving techniques using bars of Ivory Soap. Some of the students’ finished products were amazing!
To integrate science into our reading month, we focused on the character of Mr. Ocax the owl. We were able to do classroom science labs and dissect owl pellets to see what barn owls eat. Students discovered skulls and other bones of mice, moles, and birds inside the pellets.
The final opportunity for our students that the grant provided was a science assembly from Blandford Nature Center. Miss Lori and Miss Sarah came to Daisy Brook for three days of assemblies. They presented their “All about Owls” program and brought with them artifacts that the students were able to handle. The highlight of the assembly was that they also brought four live owls that are a part of the education program at Blandford. Students enjoyed seeing the owls up close and hearing their hoots. Many students exclaimed that it was the first time they had ever seen an owl.
As March comes to an end, we will be celebrating the reading success of our students and the Daisy Brook Reads program, as we also begin to think about and plan for next year!