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Vegetarian School PS 244 Visits Woodstock

PS244 Visit

So many carrots! Andy the steer had trouble choosing.

In June 2014 the entire 3rd grade of the Queens, NY-based school PS 244 came to visit Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

ps244SlideshowYou may not know that PS 244 (“PS” is NYC’s school naming system) is the first public schools in the nation to serve a healthy vegetarian lunch every day, and it is recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as one of the US’s healthiest schools. However, many of the students who attend are not vegetarian—and most have never met any farm animals before—so this was truly an eye-opening experience for them.

Educating people young and old is one of the main reasons we started the sanctuary, so we were excited for the opportunity to host the 3rd grade and inspire compassion for farm animals in their little hearts.  Students were broken down into small groups and visited all the various species around the sanctuary.  Through meeting friendly pigs, cows, chickens and other animals used for food, children had the opportunity to make the important connection between the animals and the animal products on their plates.

"I'm never eating meat again!"  An epiphany was captured in this image.

“I’m never eating meat again!” An epiphany was captured in this image.

Perhaps the most rewarding moment was captured on camera, when a girl named Adrianna learned what section of a pig is used for bacon and exclaimed, “That’s where bacon comes from? I’m never eating meat again!”

Blessed by nice weather, the students then enjoyed a 100% vegan meal at picnic benches in the middle of the sanctuary. You can see lots and lots of photos from the day on our Flickr page.

One of the school’s teachers tweeted quotes overheard by students: “I learned about how cows are kept in small cages. Why are we so mean?” (referring to calves kept in veal crates) and “My favorite part was every part!”

The trip was funded mostly by Woodstock Sanctuary, with the $1800 fees for the 2 buses absorbed by our operating budget. If you value these kinds of special trips please consider a donation to help us conduct more vital outreach in the future.

If you know of a school or community group who might be interested in visiting, please consult our group visiting page.

Thanks to our WFAS tour guides Scott Sticker, Aimee VanWettering, Sue Mannella, and Natalie Alcalde for showing the kids around.