This "Little Barn" is Everything You Wanted in Middle School

 
 Photographs by  Justine Wright

Photographs by Justine Wright

As a former employee of Country Day, I have always found Lindsey’s role to be fascinating. Not only does she fulfill the part of a middle school science teacher, but she acts as director of (what is so lovingly known as) the “Little Barn” and caretaker of the furry friends that reside there. 

Her passion for animal life is obvious, and when she’s not planning lessons or maintaining the barn, she’s riding or preparing for horse shows. When I approached her about taking her pictures in the environment that she considers being a second home… she was reluctant. 

Barn life isn’t exactly textbook “pretty.” However, there is beauty in her relationship with the animals - how she interacts with them and cares for their space – and I felt so inspired to tell that story.

From Teacher Lindsey:

Hidden amongst sunny beaches and a warm Gulf breeze is a one of a kind, enriching educational experience. Country Day School, a small school located on the east coast of Florida, is truly a hidden gem. Embodying Montessori practices at the toddler, primary and lower elementary level, and a World School curriculum in 4th through 8th grade, this educational haven is nothing but unique… but what makes this program really special is the way in which students interact with animals and nature to bring their classroom lessons to life.

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It all started 30 years ago when a single pot bellied pig which the students visited to what is now referred to as their Animal Science Experiential Learning Program. Now with a multitude of miniature horses, ponies, horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, and a llama (a pregnant llama, I might add), the program has grown to become synonymous with the school and surrounding community.

Even the school’s youngest students, one and two years old, learn lessons of compassion and respect as they both visit the barnyard and have animals come to their classroom. Kindergarteners watch life develop before their eyes as they hatch their own chicks, while elementary students practice making inferences based on observation of how donkeys and horses evolved from a common ancestor. Meanwhile, the eldest students are analyzing the energy content of feed and hay to determine the best diet for each animal.

Photograph Gallery

Story Details

Photography by Justine Wright Venue, Country Day School Dress, Soel Boutique Film Lab, The FIND Lab