One of several butterflies perches on Jordan Rhodes’s right hand. Beside her is Kyle Ward, also 9. Recently, they and other students in Amy Hinson’s class at Meherrin Elementary participated in a release party for the butterflies. Stephen H. Cowles -- Tidewater News
One of several butterflies perches on Jordan Rhodes’s right hand. Beside her is Kyle Ward, also 9. Recently, they and other students in Amy Hinson’s class at Meherrin Elementary participated in a release party for the butterflies. Stephen H. Cowles -- Tidewater News

Archived Story

Butterflies are free … at last

Published 10:19am Friday, May 31, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/STAFF WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

Meherrin Elementary School teacher Amy Hinson, left, shows the butterflies in the box to Jenny Hutto and Jim Yarborough, both of International Paper, Franklin Mill. The company’s foundation annually provides the supplies to the school. -- Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News
Meherrin Elementary School teacher Amy Hinson, left, shows the butterflies in the box to Jenny Hutto and Jim Yarborough, both of International Paper, Franklin Mill. The company’s foundation annually provides the supplies to the school. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

NEWSOMS—After several weeks of watching and waiting, waiting and watching, Amy Hinson and her third-grade class were rewarded for their patience. She and her students released several colorful butterflies into the sky during a recent ceremony at Meherrin Elementary School.

Since mid-April, Hinson’s students watched caterpillars feed and grow till they got to the chrysalis stage. At that point the creatures created their cocoons and underwent the transformation. A couple of weeks later and behold: They’re butterflies.

All this was courtesy of the sponsorship from International Paper and its partnership Earth’s Birthday Project. For more than 15 years, both organizations have been providing butterfly kits to elementary school classrooms throughout United States.

More locally, about 500 students in more than 20 classrooms in Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight participated in learning the lifecycle of a butterfly, said Jenny Hutto, communications manager, Franklin Mill.

Naturally, Hutto was invited to the Meherrin party, and joining her was Jim Yarborough, quality manager from the mill.

They watched as a few chosen students were each allowed to carefully extract a butterfly from a special container. Everyone cheered and clapped as one by one the creatures flew away into the sky.

These are a familiar sight to Kyle Ward, 9.

“We have a lot of butterflies at my family’s farm,” he said. “I’ve seen Monarchs with blue wings and yellow butterflies.”

One of the creatures had a damaged wing, so Zachary Lee, 9, got to carry it to a nearby bush in the hopes that it would soon find shelter and maybe heal.

Lee said his favorite parts of the whole lesson were, “When they hatched and their pretty wings were flying around.”

“I liked when the caterpillars were crawling around,” said Jaden Hill, 10.

Meanwhile inside the classrooms, another science experience is happening. Grace Pully’s 18 tadpoles are growing gradually into frogs.

Hinson said previously that she doesn’t expect them to be fully developed before the school year ends in June.

To learn more about how your school can participate in IP’s giving programs, contact Jenny Hutto: jennifer.hutto@ipaper.com.

 

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