In response to “The Dangers of Petting Zoos,” Our Readers Write, Feb. 17: St. George's Preschool follows the practices of the National Association for the Education of Young Children believing children learn best by real-world experiences.
Books and videos are wonderful tools for teaching, but nothing can take the place of seeing, experiencing and interacting with the real thing. Most young children do not realize milk comes from a cow or a goat and rarely are able to milk one.
We took every precaution with regard to health and safety when arranging for this learning opportunity. We did not have a traditional petting zoo where children are in a caged area chasing animals around. Instead we invited a farmer who takes pride in the care of her animals. She came and talked with the children about respect for farm animals, the products they produce and the use of them in our daily lives. We feel the knowledge gained was something the children will not soon forget.