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Partners in Learning looking to replace chicken coop

SALISBURY — It’s time for Henny and Little Roo to have a new home. The two chickens, members of the Partners in Learning family, were flooded out of their coop during Hurricane Florence and had to be rescued from the rising waters of Grant’s Creek.

They are roosting temporarily at Partners in Learning’s Novant campus, but Executive Director Norma Honeycutt said the nonprofit agency is raising money for a new coop at its Catawba College location. Hopefully, the birds will be able to return home soon.

“The children and parents have really missed them,” Honeycutt said.

Partners in Learning acquired the birds about five years ago as part of a natural learning environment initiative by the state.

“We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get them. … But we just felt it was important for kids to be exposed to farming and the natural way of life,” Honeycutt said.

Each Partners in Learning class spends a day in the coop, feeding and watering the chickens and collecting eggs. According to Honeycutt, it exposes students to agriculture and the natural world.

“It teaches the children about science, it teaches them, really, about life and death,” Honeycutt said. “The teachers have learned about chickens as much as the children have learned about chickens. … There’s been a huge learning curve for all of us.”

At the moment, Henny and Little Roo are the child care center’s only chickens, though there were plans to purchase additional birds.

“But then this happened,” Honeycutt said.

With that in mind, Partners in Learning is raising money to purchase a 12-chicken coop to install at its Catawba location. The coop would cost roughly $1,000 and will be placed on high ground.

“We’re actually going to relocate our chicken coop up behind our building so it’s out of where it floods,” Honeycutt said with a chuckle.

Despite their harrowing experience, Henny and Little Roo have bounced back.

“They’re doing really well,” Honeycutt said.

Until their new home is finished, the chickens will remain at the Novant location, where they’re quickly winning the hearts of students and staff alike.

“The children have fallen in love with them,” Honeycutt said.

Anyone interested in donating can do so at https://www.facebook.com/donate/351657075576300 or at http://epartnersinlearning.org with donations marked for “Chicken Coop.”

Partners in Learning is also looking for volunteers to help assemble the coop and remove the old structure. Anyone interested should contact Partners in Learning at 704-638-9020.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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