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VIDEO: Program teaches children about wildlife, natural resources

“This is the best day ever!” were the sentiments of South Boston Elementary School second graders who attended this year’s JAKES event on Tuesday at Edmunds Park. 

JAKES or Juniors Acquire Knowledge Ethics and Sportsmanship is a program designed to teach children about wildlife and natural resources. 

The event was sponsored by the Halifax Area Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the N.C. Wildlife Federation and Midway USA. 

The Halifax Area Chapter is the first chapter to treat the event as a field day. The NWTF covered the membership charge of $10 for the event and provided a hot dog lunch for the children and teachers. 

The event was broken down into seven activities for the children to take turns exploring including fishing at the pond, a lesson on snakes provided by Frank Shealy, riflery lesson thanks to Midway USA, archery, boat safety provided by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, fire safety provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry and soil and water conservation lessons provided by the National Science Resource Center. 

Herpetologist Shealy brought a variety of snakes ranging from black snakes to rattle snakes. 

Midway USA provided the children with an inflatable rifle range, bb guns, ammo and target sheets. 

The children were given plastic deer and target boards on which to practice their archery. 

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries brought a boat and life jackets to assist in their teaching. 

The Virginia Department of Forestry brought a bulldozer to assist in teaching the children about how they extinguish forest fires. 

The National Science Resource Center taught the children about nature allowing them to make the layers of soil in a tube. They also played a game with the children where children had to stick their hands into the side of a box and try to guess what was in it. The items were all things that could be found in nature, even though some were manmade such as a fake rock, a turtle shell, tree bark and a walnut. 

All of the students had fun while learning at this year’s JAKES event. 

In September, the turkey federation will host their next event for women teaching outdoor skills, archery and more.