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Chasing chicks at pre-school

One of Matzat’s morning classes enjoying their baby chicks (pictured from left to right) back row: Matzat and Dylan; front row: Riley, Maddie, Adison, Skylar, Teddy, and Kyle.

Article and photos by Kathy Dunker

Terry Matzat, 17 year resident of HOA I, was an elementary school teacher when she left to raise her own two daughters. After 12 years of being at home and her daughters now off to college, Matzat runs Children’s Place at Wembley pre-school from her basement, and is in her fifth year doing so.

Matzat’s thematic approach to teaching means the kids learn while they think they are playing and having fun. Under the theme of new life and development, Matzat is no sloucher. She brings baby chickens into her pre-school from a 13-year old resident of Castle Rock, Ella Carlson. Carlson raises chickens to compete at the Douglas County Fair and has won numerous ribbons, thanks to a little help from the socialization the chicks get at Matzat’s pre-school.

This year, Carlson only had five chicks born. Quickly realizing that five chicks with eleven students was not going to work out, Matzat made some frantic phone calls, followed by a mad dash to Elizabeth, where she was able to get six additional chicks for the young agricultural enthusiasts.

Each child had their own baby chick to name, hold, play with, measure the growth of, and to love; well, for two weeks, anyway. The pre-schoolers were reeling with excitement upon the birds’ arrivals. Five-year-old Riley remarked, “The chickens are so cute! I just love them!”

Matzat finds that it a great experience for the youngsters to see firsthand how things grow and develop. Matzat said, “What I love the most is seeing them [the students] transfer what they learn in one situation to another situation. After measuring his chick, one little boy took the measuring stick over to his building block to see how tall it was. That’s when you know they are making that connection!”

Matzat is full for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. Call 303-688-9187 to be placed on the wait list. Matzat follows the traditional DCSD calendar with four-hour classes on Mondays through Thursdays.

Left: Three-year-old Adison loves holding her chick she named “Purple Nail Polish.”
Right: Teddy corralling two adventurous baby chicks that want to roam the classroom.



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