The farm comes to Skyline


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Piper Cantell gets a kiss from Crossbone the alpaca at Skyline Elementary’s Reading Camp on Wednesday. The theme for this year’s camp is the Missouri State Fair and the students were treated to a visit from Crossbone as well as other farm animals. “I kinda jumped when he kissed me,” Cantell said. “I really liked it though.”


Sophia La Strada holds Little Bit. The goat is owned by Zach Cordes and his family. “He feels a little weird,” La Strada said. “He’s warm and soft and a little heavy.”


Ayden Lutjen looks a little hesitant before receiving a kiss from Crossbone. “We rescued Crossbone when he was just a little baby,” Jodi Orton, Crossbone’s owner, said. “He was born premature and we had to feed him with a bottle.” Orton, who owns 46 alpacas, brings the animals to various children’s functions to help teach the children about compassion.


Zach Cordes stands with his calf Pete, a member of the Ringen Brushy 4-H Clover Kids project. Cordes was hoping to show some of his livestock at the Smithton Town and County Fair this weekend. At 7, ”Zac is too young to be in, so the the Clover Kids gives them an introduction to how to show their animals and helps them get ready for sales,” Ginger Cordes, Clover Kids project leader, said.


Jodi Orton explains to a group of students how she shears the hair on Crossbone, one of the 46 alpacas she owns. After asking the students if they thought he looked pretty, Orton told the students she uses the hair to make yarn. “I use the yarn to make hats and scarves to keep other warm when it gets cold,” she added.


By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Piper Cantell gets a kiss from Crossbone the alpaca at Skyline Elementary’s Reading Camp on Wednesday. The theme for this year’s camp is the Missouri State Fair and the students were treated to a visit from Crossbone as well as other farm animals. “I kinda jumped when he kissed me,” Cantell said. “I really liked it though.”
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_tsd070915readingcamp11.jpgPiper Cantell gets a kiss from Crossbone the alpaca at Skyline Elementary’s Reading Camp on Wednesday. The theme for this year’s camp is the Missouri State Fair and the students were treated to a visit from Crossbone as well as other farm animals. “I kinda jumped when he kissed me,” Cantell said. “I really liked it though.”

Sophia La Strada holds Little Bit. The goat is owned by Zach Cordes and his family. “He feels a little weird,” La Strada said. “He’s warm and soft and a little heavy.”
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_tsd070915readingcamp21.jpgSophia La Strada holds Little Bit. The goat is owned by Zach Cordes and his family. “He feels a little weird,” La Strada said. “He’s warm and soft and a little heavy.”

Ayden Lutjen looks a little hesitant before receiving a kiss from Crossbone. “We rescued Crossbone when he was just a little baby,” Jodi Orton, Crossbone’s owner, said. “He was born premature and we had to feed him with a bottle.” Orton, who owns 46 alpacas, brings the animals to various children’s functions to help teach the children about compassion.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_tsd070915readingcamp31.jpgAyden Lutjen looks a little hesitant before receiving a kiss from Crossbone. “We rescued Crossbone when he was just a little baby,” Jodi Orton, Crossbone’s owner, said. “He was born premature and we had to feed him with a bottle.” Orton, who owns 46 alpacas, brings the animals to various children’s functions to help teach the children about compassion.

Zach Cordes stands with his calf Pete, a member of the Ringen Brushy 4-H Clover Kids project. Cordes was hoping to show some of his livestock at the Smithton Town and County Fair this weekend. At 7, ”Zac is too young to be in, so the the Clover Kids gives them an introduction to how to show their animals and helps them get ready for sales,” Ginger Cordes, Clover Kids project leader, said.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_tsd070915readingcamp41.jpgZach Cordes stands with his calf Pete, a member of the Ringen Brushy 4-H Clover Kids project. Cordes was hoping to show some of his livestock at the Smithton Town and County Fair this weekend. At 7, ”Zac is too young to be in, so the the Clover Kids gives them an introduction to how to show their animals and helps them get ready for sales,” Ginger Cordes, Clover Kids project leader, said.

Jodi Orton explains to a group of students how she shears the hair on Crossbone, one of the 46 alpacas she owns. After asking the students if they thought he looked pretty, Orton told the students she uses the hair to make yarn. “I use the yarn to make hats and scarves to keep other warm when it gets cold,” she added.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_tsd070915readingcamp51.jpgJodi Orton explains to a group of students how she shears the hair on Crossbone, one of the 46 alpacas she owns. After asking the students if they thought he looked pretty, Orton told the students she uses the hair to make yarn. “I use the yarn to make hats and scarves to keep other warm when it gets cold,” she added.

Students at Skyline Elementary reading camp were treated to some special visitors Wednesday morning as a small taste of the Missouri State Fair came to the school.

Several four-legged friends, including an alpaca, goats, a calf and a dog, entertained the students as they learned about the Missouri State Fair.

“Our theme this year for reading camp is the State Fair,” teacher Jeri Perkins said. “Even though the fair is right here in our backyard, we thought it would be neat for the students to learn more about farm animals.”

Although the students have only been at Reading Camp for three days, they have already been doing computer research and reading books about farm life and the animals that live there.

“It’s a good opportunity for the students to see the animals up close,” said Kay Sparks, University of Missouri Extension and Pettis County 4-H representative. “The students have been reading about farm animals and how they contribute to the food supply so we wanted to bring some animals out for them to see firsthand.

“The Pettis County 4-H Livestock show is Sunday and Monday and it is a good opportunity for some of our members to get some hands-on experience working with their livestock as well,” Sparks added.

A big hit with the students was Crossbone the alpaca.

“We rescued Crossbone when he was just a tiny little baby,” owner Jodi Orton told the students. “He was born premature and we had to feed him with a bottle. They have told us that only one in 10 alpacas that little ever survives,” she added.

Orton owns 46 alpacas on her Benton County farm.

“He looks really pretty doesn’t he?” Orton asked one of the classes. “That’s because he just had a haircut. We use his shorn hair to make yarn and then I use that to make hats and scarves to keep others warm when it gets cold.”

Orton said she feels it is important for small children to see her alpacas for multiple reasons.

“They help to teach the children about compassion and caring,” Orton said. “I do a lot of work with special needs children and they learn so much from the alpacas.

“Crossbone is really gentle and so they understand the importance of coming from a safe place and how to care for something that needs to be helped.”

Skyline’s Reading Camp incorporates those same lessons in their program, which has averaged 70 to 80 students per day.

“The camp is designed to offer some extra encouragement for our students,” Brenda Simpson, Title One instructional assistant, said. “We find it’s really important to help them work with the skills they have already learned and to develop additional skills.

“We want them to keep reading over the summer to help them keep their minds in a routine.”

Every week the instructors try to provide a special activity for the students to enjoy. Local author Shani Cooper-Gwaltney will be reading to the children July 17 and the students will enjoy a pizza party on the last day of camp, July 31.

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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