How much snow? Enough for a penguin to waddle into school

February 16, 2014 at 12:53 AM

With all this snow and ice, we wouldn’t be surprise to see a penguin waddle into school.
Guess what?
That’s what happened at Burnet Hill, where a fashionable guest arrived in tuxedo, preening and posing for photographs to the delight of children and teachers.
Onyx, an outgoing African penguin, visited the school on February 11 as part of an educational outreach program by Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant.
Burnet Hill kindergarteners know all about penguins. Hands flew up to answer questions about what makes them birds, with answers like their feathers, beaks, and laying eggs. And there were giggles over the idea of penguins getting married, with wedding gifts for the bride of stones and twigs from their groom.
The kindergarten classes of Tara Freeman, Lara Moskowitz and Julie Bachrach were transformed into scenes of the Antarctic. A few weeks ago, they hosted a Reader's Theatre performance. The children presented "perfectly penguin performances" for their parents of the Helen Lester classic, “Tacky the Penguin.” They recited penguin poems and danced to the “Penguin Polka.”
The day of the penguin visit, students wore their paper penguin thinking caps to answer questions on all things penguin, including where in the world these birds mostly live.
“The zoo,” was a funny reply.
I definitely was thinking of all the scenes I’ve seen of penguins living on icebergs in the cold seas around the Antarctica.
But the children had better answers. Most penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, the children said.
On the beach in places that are warm and tropical.
If winter lasts much longer, I may scrap my scarf for a tux and migrate.

Marilyn Joyce Lehren is the manager for Communications and Community Outreach for Livingston Public Schools.

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