by Vanessa Faria
In late September, USES’ Early Childhood Education students spent a beautiful day learning about different types of apples and getting some hands-on experience picking their own.
On a sunny Thursday morning, 36 pre-school students, USES staff, and over 20 volunteers from John Hancock and the United Way piled onto buses to head to Shelburne Farm in Stow, MA. The volunteers entertained the students with activities and games. Not once was “are we there yet?” heard.
“The volunteers were awesome. It made the day so much easier to make happen,” said Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education Shalisa Lamb. “They even donated five copies of a great book about fall and apple picking.”
Everyone was greeted with apple cider and donuts as they arrived. Next, they paired up and started their adventure exploring the farm. Although the kids didn’t know it, the trip was a combination of fun and learning. The volunteers posed questions about apples such as “what food can we made with apples and what color are they?”
“The day was great, the kids got to get out, and some of them wouldn’t have this experience without a program like this and sponsors like the United Way and John Hancock to help,” said Lamb. Prior to leaving, the kids were given goodie bags with a coloring book, pencils, and wristbands.
“It was the perfect day to go apple picking—sunny, but not too hot. The farm was great and really prepared for us,” said Lamb. “We talk about apple picking in school but to actually go there and see it for yourself is different. The kids now understand concepts like that you have to twist it to get it off the tree or rub it to get it shinny. It’s different than buying them in store. You can actually see where they come from,” said Lamb.