I am the atelierista of a very special Reggio-inspired school in Miami, FL. The school I am a part of is also a “Green School”that emphasizes long term project work. Most of the projects that go on in my school have a focus on the environment. Before I became atelierista, I was the lead teacher of a group of children that led a project we named The Chicken Project.
The Chicken Project is an ongoing project that began in 2014. Back then, the children in the class of the 2’s formed an attachment to the rooster that lived in our park, Co Co Co. They thought of many ways to earn the rooster’s trust including feeding it every day, making it bowls for food and water, thinking of a playground for the rooster, and more. Unfortunately, the rooster died only a few months after we embarked on that project.
Since then, a new student, seeing that the children were mourning the rooster, offered to give us two chickens from her farm. Over the next several months, the children worked on designing a coop for chickens. They sent recorded summaries of the aspects they wanted for their coop along with their designs to my husband who is an electrician and carpenter. He watched their videos and looked over their designs. Then, he created a draft based on their designs and recorded his own message to the students.
Once everyone was in agreement over the coop. The children fundraised for the materials, wrote a letter to Shaun which included the money they raised, and then Shaun began building the coop. It took around 4 months to complete the coop. Shaun worked on it during the weekends and after work on some weekdays. I have to tell you it was completely a labor of love. Shaun went above and beyond with the coop. He is definitely a craftsman
This year, the coop has been built and we were given two very sweet and special chickens, Milk and Chocolate. Some of the students in the pre-k 4 class have been a part of this project from the beginning. The children in this class are in charge of the chickens and have been engaged in many meaningful experiences with the chickens this school year. I will continue to update this post with pictures as the children continue to care for these new chickens.