Five bushels of Georgia-grown corn awaited the 4 and 5-year-olds at Clarke County’s Early Learning Center the morning of Aug. 30.
The occasion was “Aw Shucks Day,” an event designed to introduce children to corn, specifically how to shuck it and then prepare it.
Students in Caree Cotwright’s service-learning course arrived at the school off Atlanta Highway equipped with colorful posters, catchy songs and a lot of patience.
One student even dressed head-to-toe in full corn regalia – “Miss Corn,” to be specific – a spectacle that drew considerable interest from the gaggle of pre-K onlookers.
“Traditionally, cafeteria workers can’t serve fresh corn because of the manpower (required),” Cotwright said. “So we’re helping pre-K children to learn about corn, the corn life cycle and the parts of corn.”
As the corn was handed out, Cotwright’s students began reciting the life cycle of the grain as other students assisted the pre-K children with shucking.
They answered questions ranging from “what is the texture of corn” to “how many ways can you prepare corn?”
After a thorough washing by Cotwright’s students, the freshly-shucked corn became a menu item in the lunchroom the following day.
“They were so excited to learn and it’s so exciting to teach them because they’re so receptive to learning new things,” said Fabi de Jesus Jimenez Meza, a graduate student in Cotwright’s class.
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