By Curt Yeomans
Chayse Busby clutched a white Styrofoam cup in her hands as she looked down at the three Easter eggs the cup contained.
Busby, 5, a pre-school student in Riverdale High School's Early Childhood Education program, was one of 20 children in her class who painted Easter eggs Friday with help from the school's animal science students. As Busby looked into her cup, she saw a pink egg, a yellow and pink one, and a blue and pink egg.
"I like pink. It's my favorite color because it's so pretty," Busby said. "The best thing about making Easter eggs is how pretty they turn out. They're beautiful, just like my mommy. I'm going to take these home to her, so she can see how pretty they are."
The animal science high school pupils made Easter eggs with the pre-schoolers as one of their Future Farmers of America community service projects.
At Riverdale High, as well as at Mundy's Mill High School, the emphasis in FFA is put on animal sciences. The students at Riverdale care for two rabbits, a bald python, and several goldfish. The other school with an FFA group, Jonesboro High School, puts its emphasis on horticulture.
Besides coloring Easter eggs, FFA students at Riverdale have participated along with the pre-schoolers in an OctoberFest around Halloween, and tree planting in the spring, said FFA sponsor and animal science teacher Sabrina Stearns Davis. Outside of those projects, though, the younger students do not have much interaction with the older ones.
"It was fun [to make the Easter eggs]," said Riverdale FFA President Prentiss Guillory, 18, a senior. "We don't get to hang out with the kids that much, so I enjoyed it."
As the older students guided the little ones through the egg-coloring process, some of the FFA members joined in the creative process.
"The best part of making Easter eggs is getting to see how quickly they change colors," said senior LaDonna Withrow, 17. "It's for everybody because you don't have to be a certain age to enjoy making Easter eggs."
Pre-school student Jamarie Brooks, 4, said he will use the eggs he made for an Easter egg hunt. "I'm going to hide them, and then I'm going to find them," he said.
Another pre-schooler, J'Koby Cooperwood, 4, planned to give away one of his eggs with the requirement that whoever got it, had to break it. "They have to crack it open and see what's inside," Cooperwood said. "I want to know if a bunny is inside."