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Live Reptiles Help Third-Graders Learn At Dows Lane Elementary

Students at Dows Lane Elementary School held snakes and learned about reptiles in their third- grade classroom.
Students at Dows Lane Elementary School held snakes and learned about reptiles in their third- grade classroom. Photo Credit: Dows Lane Elementary School, Irvington, N.Y.

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Naturalists from Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES' wildlife program at the Madden Educational Center brought snakes, turtles and other reptiles to Dows Lane Elementary School in Irvington recently.

Their live reptile lesson was brought to the third-grade students. Kids got to hold some of them while learning about the menagerie, a red-eared slider turtle, a red-footed tortoise, two corn snakes and a number of poisonous toad models, along with tortoise/turtle shells, snake eggs and a python skin in the Oct. 30 visit.

“There’s no replacement for hands-on scientific learning,” said BOCES naturalist Kevin Gross, who answered the third-graders’ questions about the animals and encouraged them to touch each one. “I hope they will remember how special these animals are.”

“To experience these animals without a glass or cage barrier enhances the interaction with nature in a way that cannot be understood,” said Dows Lane Principal Deborah Mariniello.

The annual wildlife program visit is funded through a PTSA grant.

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