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Students learn parenting skills

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October 21, 2004

Hahira - Hahira Elementary first graders are the proud new parents of baby pumpkins. "It's a girl and her name is Ashley," said Mackenzie Ford.

"We have a nursery provided in the classroom and they must bring that pumpkin to school every day," said Ann Northcutt, Teacher.

They're responsible for keeping watch over them 24 hours a day and making sure they stay healthy. "We take them to the school nurse and she weighs and measures the pumpkins, then tells them what a good job they've done," said Northcutt.

Like real parents, the students don't have a say so in the gender of the babies, and some can't even choose how many they have. Travis Stephens is one of the lucky students chosen to be the father of twin pumpkins. "Their names are Jacob and Derek," said Travis.

The project teaches these kids the responsibility that comes with parenthood, along with lessons in reading and writing. "They use their language skills to write about the pumpkins first outing and its first night at home," said Northcutt.

It also helps them with math skills. "We teach them about scales and weighing and measuring."

And far in the future when its time for them to become real parents, these kids will be one step ahead.

posted at 3:30 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com