Engagement coordinator raises chickens in his backyard.
By Julian Gonzales
Two-year-olds in the early childhood studies center on Oct. 3 gathered around a visiting chicken named Henrietta.
The children enjoyed the company of Henrietta because she showcased the theme for that period. The children were studying farm animals.
“We were talking about farm animals in our classroom with our 2-year-olds,” Al Ortiz, early childhood teacher, said.
He said the “interesting live experience” showed children what real animals are.
Joseph Liedecke, student engagement coordinator, is a friend of Ortiz and was asked to bring one of his chickens into the classroom.
Liedecke has been raising chickens since he was a child.
“Henrietta lives in my backyard with 14 other chickens,” Liedecke said. “I guess you could call it a hobby.”
He also sells their eggs for $4 a dozen.
Henrietta will turn 3 years old in November.
He displayed a poster that contained information about Henrietta’s eggs and coop. Her eggs are blue and gray.
Studying farm animals is important to the children when it can jog their memories of certain objects, Ortiz said
A memory of the chicken at that young age could disappear from the brain, but at least the children might know what a chicken looks like, Ortiz said
Henrietta remained calm in Liedecke’s arms, and the children were calm as well.
It’s hard to get the children’s full attention when their “attention spans are hard to grasp,” Ortiz said.
The experience for some of the children went from excitement to amazement as they got to pet Henrietta.
For information on the early childhood studies center, call 210-486-0530.