HENRICO, Va. -- Greenwood Elementary School in Henrico County had a special visitor before wrapping up their school year.
“Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam stopped in our room on March 1," said Second Grade Science Teacher Dona Kouri. “It was our first day back from virtual since March of 2020."
On that day, Northam handed the kids a special coin.
"The children either got a blue crab, long-eared bat or the dogwood," said Kouri. All are endangered species in Virginia.
Kouri believed the coins could be a learning opportunity for students.
“I just put the challenge out there. I gave them about a month. Do your research on it. Go to Discovery Education. It is a great platform. And they did it!" she said.
What they did was research each species, create a website with information they found and give a presentation they hoped the First Lady would be interested in hearing.
"We contacted the Governor's office,” said Kouri. “They said we would love to come back and see what you did with the challenge."
"We have tremendous educators here who put their heart and soul through a very difficult year," said Northam. "But to foster that and learn about research and be able to speak as confidently as they've done today is really thrilling to see."
"I am so proud," Kouri said. “One, because I am the science person for our school this year and I do love science, it's my favorite thing, but that they did this. Seven- and eight-year-olds did this and they realized, ‘Hey, I can go learn more about this.'"
It's a challenge that was fun... and Building Better Minds.