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TEF grants great for Troy schools

“Did you know falcons can reach up to 220 miles per hour when they’re diving for their prey?”

“Did you know vultures disinfect their wings by spreading them out under the UV light of the sun?”

My wife listened to me rattle on about various bird facts for the majority of my lunch break on Thursday after covering the visit of the Southeastern Raptor Center of Auburn University to the first graders at Troy Elementary.

There are many important things going on right now locally, in our state, our country and around the world.

And yet, my focus kept drifting back all day to the simple things I’d heard earlier that morning about some honestly amazing creatures.

The program may have been for elementary kids, but there were plenty of facts talked about that I either didn’t know or had long forgotten.

Looking back, I’m not sure we ever had anything quite like this when I was in elementary school.

Even better than my fascination with this information was seeing these young kids so engaged in learning.

The truth is– sitting behind a desk can get boring, especially for young children.

For the most part though, the kids had no trouble paying attention as the trainers brought out bird after bird, seemingly getting bigger and more intimidating each time.

Sure, the kids had to be corralled a bit after a bald eagle named Spirit, one of the eagles that flies before Auburn games, relieved itself during the presentation. Even then though, the students were paying close attention, marveling at the creatures in front of them.

The program was made possible by the Troy Education Foundation, and they deserve great credit for bringing programs like this to our local schools.

I don’t have kids yet, but knowing that these kinds of programs exist for the children here is great to know for the future. This is just one of the many programs that the TEF funds for the schools, and I am so thankful for the hard work they do to raise funds to give our students a small break from the rigors of everyday learning to get some education in some innovative and interactive ways.