September 21, 2008

Kindergartners Just Eat This Up

By stacey becker

A simple visit to an apple orchard was all it took to bring the curriculum to life for three kindergarten classes.

Table Mound Elementary School kindergartners were immersed into the world of apples Wednesday afternoon at Czipar's Apple Orchard.

The young students studied apples with a focus on how apple trees change throughout the seasons. While on their field trip, they got up close to those same apples.

"Taking the students out to witness the curriculum in the world makes it real for them," said Diane Pancratz, one of the kindergarten teachers.

Students at Table Mound have boarded a yellow school bus and traveled to Czipar's for the past 10 years.

The tour guide, Shella Czipar, takes time off from her job as a paraprofessional at Washington Middle School. "I do this for the kids," she said. "I know they get a lot out of it."

The kindergartners, along with some parents, learned about different apple trees, saw how apples are cleaned on the orchard, walked through two walk-in refrigerators and ate some red apples.

"I think that they're red, nice and sweet," said Lexi Haupert, a kindergartner. "It's very nice."

Sitting under the shade of a tree, the kids devoured their apples and drank apple cider.

One kindergartner only liked a specific kind of apple.

"I like them nice and juicy," said Tyler Schuster, a kindergartner.

His parents live near the apple orchard, and he visits Czipar's at least twice a year.

"It was exciting for him," said Lisa Demmer, Schuster's mom. "He loves apples."

Czipar's, a family-owned apple business, has a large demand for tours each year. College students and even business folk have spent time on a tour of the orchard.

"We meet all kinds of neat people," said Joan Czipar, who owns the orchard with her husband, Dick. "It's a family thing. We enjoy doing it."

Originally published by stacey becker TH staff writer/[email protected]

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