Ranger Ellen, here at Fort Frederica, has a program that she does with Kindergartners in the Glynn County School System. She visits their classrooms and talks to them about the National Park Service. I think it is her favorite part of her job. Ranger Ellen rotates schools and takes one of the volunteers with her each time. I have gone with her a few times and really enjoyed visiting the classroom.
Kindergartners are a special group. They are loving and eager to learn with short attention spans. I wrote about their visits to Fort Frederica last year and you can read about it here. Ranger Ellen is good about knowing what they can and can’t do when she is visiting the classroom. The week I went with her, she talked about seeds and plants.
The children from two kindergarten classes come into the room and sit on the big rug in the room. Ranger Ellen starts by reading them a story or talking to them about a poster she brought. Then they do an activity. One day they made seed bombs. Ranger Ellen already had all the ingredients mixed together in Ziploc bag, so the first instruction was “don’t open the bag!” The kids were really good about not opening the bag. She told them to mold the clay, soil and seed together until it looked like a meatball. For some reason that statement got a big laugh. Then the children could take the seed bombs home and let them burst into flower.
The Kindergartners do their best to pay good attention. We visited one group before they had lunch and another group after lunch. The after-lunch class was difficult because all-day school is hard for Kindergartners. We had three children who fell asleep on the rug while they were doing their craft! Poor little things.
Visiting the classroom with Ranger Ellen has been a fun addition to my duties this year at Fort Frederica. They will be coming for their field trips soon and I am looking forward to seeing them again.