Pine River Elementary was awarded funding from the Merrill Area Community Foundation's "Beyond Crayons and Computers" grant for a "Coop and Poop" project. The chicken coop was assembled by students and parent volunteers at the school Saturday.
Pine River parents, Jerrod Ford and John Rydeski, secured the supplies and built the coop in sections so it could be assembled on site.
Pine River fifth grade teacher Russ Noland sought the grant for the project which will provide countless lessons to the students.
"We can work it into the curruculum, tying in science, math and economics," Noland said.
In the fifth grade, students will incubate eggs in the classroom and compare their hatch to the hens nesting naturally in the coop.
The entire school will begin a composting project, which includes feeding the leftovers froom the lunchroom to the chickens. Compost will be used in the school's garden.
Noland also said he is working on putting a webcam in the coop and having the students post a blog about the chickens' activities.
All students will be a part of the process of composting in the lunchroom, feeding and caring for the chickens, collecting eggs, etc. The plan is to have one chicken in the coop designated for each of our K-5 classrooms. Five hens and one rooster from a local farm moved into the coop over the weekend.