June 19, 2013

City teens uncowed by rural visit

WILLSBORO — The experiences of city and country teens are often worlds apart.

“I can’t believe I touched a cow,” Isaiah Rowe exclaimed during a recent visit to the Lee Garvey Farm in Willsboro. “I can’t process that in my brain.”

Rowe was among a group of students and educators from Wadleigh Secondary School and Frederick Douglass Academy II in New York City who visited the North Country as scholars with College for Every Student.

They watched the farmer milk the cows, and Garvey and his sister, Krista Moran, introduced them to the equipment they use and other aspects of farming.

The walk through the cow barn was eye-popping.

“Oh, my God, that is the weirdest thing,” one student called out. “(That cow’s) tongue is so huge!” 

“Eating and pooping at the same time,” another teen said. “That’s crazy!”

A bat darted through the barn, and the startled visitors pulled their jackets over their heads — at first, they thought it was a bird.

Then the scholars were treated to farm-fresh apples, cheese and apple cider.

“They seem to be having a grand time coming here to see the cows,” Moran said.


This was the sixth year Willsboro Central School hosted New York City students through College for Eevery Student’s Home and Away Exchange Program.

“Our kids look forward to this all year,” French teacher Marie Blatchley in an email. “They enjoy both hosting the New York City students and then getting the opportunity to visit their schools a few days later.”

The students from the city welcomed the opportunity to see rural life, but the visit raised some questions about wide-open spaces.

“How do people handle it?” Ariely Christian wondered. “Everything is so far away, while everything is so close in the city.”

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