Our Views: Children learn about birds

We remember with fondness the spring days of our youth, when what was going on outside our classroom windows often seemed more interesting to us that what was transpiring at the chalkboard.

Being required to pay attention to the teacher could be sweet agony when a new season was emerging just beyond our reach.

With that in mind, we were heartened to learn some fourth-graders at Westdale Heights Academic Elementary Magnet School on College Drive are being encouraged to routinely look out their classroom windows. In the process, these students are learning some important lessons about bird life, and they’re contributing to the nation’s knowledge about bird life, too.

The students in teacher Pamela Fry’s class work in a classroom that overlooks the school’s courtyard garden, which is a magnet for birds. The students report their bird sightings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University in Cornell, N.Y.

Their findings are included in a national database that tracks bird populations across America. As part of the project, the students learned basic bird identification from local volunteer Dennis Demcheck.

We commend Demcheck, Fry and the students involved in this project. It’s a great way to teach these children about their connection to the natural world.