LEAF program offers hands-on learning for middle school boys

SWVA Today    
By: Carolyn R. Wilson
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture 
Original content from SWVA Today.  

ABINGDON, Va. — More than one hundred sixth-grade boys at E.B. Stanley Middle School were treated to a day of enrichment and fun activities last Friday during the school’s Learning through Enrichment Activities is Fun (LEAF) program.

“We started LEAF years ago as a means of providing boys at the middle school with some hands-on fun. The goal was to give them the opportunity to learn more about careers and opportunities within our own region,” said Dr. Rebecca Austin, assistant principal at E.B. Stanley Middle School.

The students enjoyed the LEAF program on the same day that sixth-grade girls at their school attended a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

“So we decided to do enrichment activities that are fun for the boys,” said Austin.

“How often does a child get to pet an alpaca and learn about these beautiful creatures?” she asked. David and Debbie McLeish of Dreamland Alpacas transported two of their alpacas to the school for the students to pet and to learn about the animals with the luxurious and silky natural fibers.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at SWVA Today.