6th Grade Bridge - Classroom Pets

written by Rena Curtis and Thea Satre-Pratt, 6th Grade Bridge

Having animals present in a class room encourages skills like responsibility and care for living beings. As a whole school, Great River is a home for many animals. Our part as a class for caring for animals includes; feeding and caring for goats, chickens, class pets Wendell and Paulo (our bunnies) and Dart our Leopard Gecko.

Lucy, Rue, and Oz (our goats) require food, water, shelter and exercise. Some ways we meet our goats needs are saving food scraps, investing in shelter, and redesigning wooden planks for agility. Parents and students are asked to bring in food scraps such as, bread, corn products, fruit, lettuce, chard, carrot tops, dried fruit and vegetables. The goats dietary resrictions are meat, rhubarb, diary, avocado, tomato, potato, eggplant, and oak leaves. If you do not find a food on this list please refrain from sending it into the classroom for safety of the goats.

Our chickens have a similar diet. Bread, corn , fruits, grain, greens, carrots, broccoli, squash, and cucumbers. Sweet, salty, greasy, processed and citrus foods are harmful to the dietary systems of the chickens. We also collect eggs from the chickens to sell at stands and farmers markets.

Wendell and Paulo have a limited diet. Apples, pears, raw carrots, celery, lettuce, and cauliflower are their source of fresh vegetables. They also eat hay that we provide along with rabbit food pellets. We ate planning to build a new hutch with the guidance and assistance of our guides and head of school. Students will also design toys with food inside for training.

Our newest member of the bridge program is Dart the leopard gecko. Her diet consists of crickets… their diets are simple but they are complex creatures. Dart eats about 8 crickets per week so temporarily, we also have crickets chirping in the class.

Bringing in food for the animals as listed contributes to the health of the animals and is appreciated immensely. You can drop food donations at the front desk, labeled for our classroom! Email Cate at cwilliams@greatriverschool.org with any questions.