In the spring, the butterflies are returned to students in North America. During their spring migration, some of the Episcopal butterflies had “landed” at Fulton Elementary School in Fulton, Maryland in the classroom of Louisiana native LeSantra Ledet. Through the power of social media, the two classrooms were able to exchange videos and share about their experiences learning about monarch butterflies. This chance encounter on Facebook gave the students a deeper investment in the project. Human connections like this provide opportunities for our students to learn about children in other schools, states and countries, and help further Episcopal’s mission to “prepare graduates for college and for purposeful lives.”
Back in the PreK garden, students were thrilled at the spring arrival of the monarch butterflies. They documented each step of the life cycle from discovering tiny eggs on their milkweed plants, to watching the butterflies emerge, almost simultaneously, in the biggest sighting of butterflies in the garden’s history.
Students wrapped up the year with a butterfly parade in the VPAC. Families were treated to a song and poem performed by the PreK-4 classes. After the show, students showcased their published book, “Becoming a Butterfly” and hosted an art show and book signing. The metaphor of the caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly is especially fitting for our young learners during this transformational year of school. The mini Knights are ready to “take flight” in Kindergarten as they take the next step in their educational journey at Episcopal.
Julie Mendes, a 2001 graduate of Episcopal, returned to teach Pre-K4 at her alma mater in 2012. She received both her undergraduate degree and MEd in elementary education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. After teaching second grade in a Dual Language program in Texas public schools for three years, Julie moved abroad to teach first grade at a bilingual school in Gracias, Lempira Honduras. Julie enjoys teaching alongside some of her former teachers and seeing what life is like on the other side of the desk.