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White Plains Second Graders Greet Butterflies

Church Street Elementary School students finally got to play in the butterfly pavilion they've watched emerge in their White Plains school's courtyard this Monday.

Principal Darrel Stinchcomb said the students have been looking forward to the pavilion since they began harvesting caterpillars a few weeks ago.

"They've been excited about it," said Darrel. "Whenever they walk by they'll say, 'Oooh, what's that?'"

Jayne Ahearn, the co-chair of the school's garden committee and pavilion inventor, bought a batting cage after the committee explored creating a butterfly pavilion. She then sewed mosquito nets together twice before the pavilion's lining fit correctly. However, Ahear said seeing the kids play with Painted Lady butterflies made it "all worthwhile."

"All the budgets are being cut, so there are less field trips, and this gives them a chance to see something right in the courtyard," said Ahearn, whose son Jesse is a third grader at Church Street.

Students have been learning about the stages of butterflies' development first hand. In addition the school also posted 17 pages of a book detailing the creatures' life cycle throughout the school so that kids who read it are led to the courtyard door.

Ahearn said the committee hasn't decided what to do with the butterflies after summer vacation begins in a few weeks. She spotted a few eggs and said that if summer camp students and volunteers look after the pavilion during vacation, the pavilion could be filled with more butterflies by the end of summer.

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