Something to crow about: sixth graders plan to introduce chickens to school

Chickens for Young Women Leaders aThink It Up Live Event at Crockett High School on March 10, 2016.

Chickens for Young Women Leaders aThink It Up Live Event at Crockett High School on March 10, 2016.

Lucia Hruby, Staff Writer

Chickens for Young Women Leaders at Think It Up Live Event at Crockett High School on March 10, 2016.

The group took the stage and began their presentation.  A little nervous at first, the first presenter soon warmed up to the audience.  The microphone was handed to another group member.  Stage fright struck her and she was left speechless as she stared out into the large audience.  The other group members gave her some time to recover and helped her find her words again.

“It was really a gentle way of dealing with the situation and I think it showed our sisterhood,” sixth grade STARS teacher, Carey Warner, said.

“Chickens for Young Women Leaders” is a project created by four sixth graders, Ally Jensen, Finn Offield, Amy Perea, and Amanda Schreiber.  During a sustainability unit in school, this group came up with the idea of bringing chickens to Ann Richards.

“My mom used to work at Small Middle School, and I loved the chickens that they had,” sixth grader and member of the group, Alexandra Jensen said.  “I thought that our school could really improve and become more environmentally friendly from having chickens.”

Before moving forward with their idea, the administration had to approve of the project.  The girls created a video highlighting the benefits having chickens on campus and were successful in convincing the administration.

“Apparently, in the past, other groups of students had asked the admin about bringing chickens to our school, but the idea was denied,” Warner said. “This group was prepared and were very put together, which I think helped convince Ms. Goka [the school principal].”

With the goal to fund their project, “Chickens for Young Women Leaders” competed among other groups, seventh through twelfth grade, from around Austin at the Think It Up Live showcase.  Think It Up is a movement dedicated to exciting students about learning and innovating education across the country.  

“It wasn’t until I was filling out the paperwork that I realized the competition was only meant for meant for seventh and up,” Warner said. “I was a little worried that we would get in trouble, but we decided to go ahead and have them compete.”

“Chickens for Young Women Leaders” placed in one of the top three teams and were awarded $500.  The group plans to use the money to help fund their project.

“The competition was hard because we were the first to present and I’m a really nervous speaker.  A lot of other schools had really great ideas too and I wasn’t sure we were going to win,” Perera said.

Next year, once the chickens start producing eggs, the group plans to divide the eggs amongst people and possibly use them in the school cafeteria.  The group hopes to start a club to help raise the chickens over the summer.  

“This project will give students a better opportunity to get involved with nature,” Perera said. “Also chickens are stress relievers, so I think that students at our school would be able to relax a little more.”