This page is devoted to articles by or for kids in our community.
Here is a pledge to earth, shared by a Kittery grade schooler. It's an encouraging complement to the traditional pledge of allegiance to the flag:
I pledge allegiance to the Earth
and the life which it supports.
One planet, in our care, irreplaceable,
with sustenance and respect for all.
News of Nooney
Reading the property for students
On Monday, Sept. 23, Carol Carlson from the Shapleigh school, Gillian Carter and Wendy Pomeroy, tackled the trail that leads to the upland woods at the Nooney property off of Rt 236. We opened up the brushy part of the trail with loppers and a buck saw, removing nasty rose stems and cutting some toppled small trees. Made some progress weed whacking the beginning of the grassy area. That is slow going as the grass is over 4 ft tall. Once through that tall grass, it will just need some tidying up, and it will be ready for kids to tromp through.
Fifth grade science teacher Lois Higgins brings learning alive for Shapleigh students
I've been taking a group of kids out there every Tuesday rain, shine, snow, mud. It's been incredible seeing tracks, scat, owl pellets, deer rubs, and of course birds.
Our most phenomenal experiences have come in three.
One very sunny day, we wallowed through 2 feet of snow and barely got through the field when we saw a Brown Creeper foraging in the flaky bark of a cherry tree. We laid back in the snow with our binoculars to our eyes and watched the tiny bird work the bark for at least 15 minutes. We had time to check it in the field guide and enjoy a lengthy discussion.
Another wintry day, we got a little further along the edge of the lower part of the field, when we heard a commotion to our left in the canopy. Out burst a male Northern Cardinal with a Northern Shrike in hot pursuit. Our presence saved the Cardinal and the Shrike perched in a maple right before our very eyes. We had plenty of time to make excited notes of the bird's characteristics. "It looks like a huge chickadee!" We had more conversations about the nature of Nature. Bringing the food web / chain to life . . . well . . . it was hard to take for some kids.
Our third and most memorable happened this spring after we crossed the muck and mud around the old 'bridge'. We were walking along the foot of the embankment along the swamp. As the first child in line stepped with his left foot, an American Woodcock exploded from within inches of his boot. In a whistling whirr of wing beats, it flew up before him, its wing tip brushing the tips of his upraised hand. It landed at the top of the embankment, where we had excellent opportunities to watch it as it did its courtship dance.
There are truly NO words to describe these exciting brushes with nature. Each time, we were exhilarated, honored and humbled to be a part of it.
These are memories the kids will hold forever. Me too.