Students hunt for eggs at Pate's Creek

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

As her peers clamored in the field to collect the eggs most visible to them, Taylor Andrews quietly found her share beneath a tree.

The 10-year-old Girl Scout, and 80 other students at Pate's Creek Elementary School, scoured through tall grass in search of the colorful plastic eggs. Many of the students, just happy to participate in the search, were surprised to find candy treats within their eggs.

Thursday's Easter egg hunt was the first activity of its kind for the Pate's Creek After School Program, according to the program's site coordinator, Liz Armstrong.

"We did this so they can get out and run before they head into spring break," Armstrong said.

Schools in Henry County are scheduled to be on spring break April 5 through April 9.

Armstrong said the activity was a simple gesture that included 750 candy-filled plastic eggs. She said she believes, however, that it may have made a significant impact on the students who range in age from 5 to 11.

"You get the sense that a lot of the kids don't get the chance to do something like this," she said. "And you don't know until the next day, when the child comes back and says, ‘that was my first time doing that.'"

Matthew Yancey, 10, has done it before. He collected 20 eggs on Thursday.

"My goal was 50 eggs," said Yancey, who was marginally disappointed.

The egg hunt also provided students with a 10-minute interlude from the after-school program's normal activities, added Betty Sims, assistant coordinator of the program.

"It's a very structured program," said Sims.

Students and teachers typically review homework in math, reading, and science, or they participate in arts projects, she said. This week, for instance, students have been preparing for the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).

The CRCT is the state's annual standardized test, which measures what students have learned throughout the year, said Sims.

"The Easter egg hunt was just a fun thing to do, right before the spring break," Sims said.