Ask people outside the Lamplighter community to name one thing they know about our School, and most likely they’ll smile and say something about the farm animals. Our distinctive red barn, and the chickens, cow, donkey, and goats who reside there, are some of the most unique and special things about Lamplighter. These animals not only provide students with a connection to nature, but also offer vast learning opportunities for our students. This starts with our youngest learners as they feed Cheerios to the chickens and observe and talk to the cow, donkey, and goats in the animal pen each school day.

This year, Judith Mullens, Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning – Early Childhood, coordinated a new learning opportunity for our Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Transitional First Grade (T1) students to interact with the animals. With the help of Science Teacher Eva McKee, Facilities Manager Dwayne Spencer and Chief Operations Officer Marynell Murphy, Lamplighter implemented hands-on goat brushing sessions for our Early Childhood students. Each class began by watching a training video about caring for goats and reviewing the safe ways to interact with this type of animal. Each student then had the chance to brush “Marshmallow,” the brown goat on the Lamplighter farm. These intimate sessions were part of Lamplighter’s social-emotional curriculum about empathy, combined with academic lessons about science. “Marshmallow” loved being pampered by the students as much as they loved brushing him, and he even got to enjoy some special treats from Mr. Spencer to reward his peaceful and cooperative behavior!