The first day of high school is a nerve-racking experience even for the most prepared student and local student Buddy is no exception. The only difference is that Buddy is a three-year-old bearded dragon.
For the past three years, Buddy has been an exemplary pupil at Stoney Creek Elementary School in Caswell County where he is a popular student and avid reader.
Buddy attends Stoney Creek because of a Bright Ideas grant won by his favorite teacher, Teresa Perkins. Bright Ideas grants are funded by Piedmont Electric’s Helping Hand Foundation to support creative, engaging projects in local classrooms.
“Since winning our grant, we were able to purchase many animal and dragon-themed books for the children to read in class. With the younger children, many of them would read aloud to him, which helped with their confidence and fluency. This really encouraged my reluctant readers to read,” Mrs. Perkins said. “Buddy has also given me the opportunity to provide an example of how to care for pets and about being a responsible pet owner.”
When Buddy isn’t busy reading, he enjoys relaxing in his luxury condo that overlooks Mrs. Perkin’s 5th grade class. He especially loves it when his classmates bring him crickets, clover flowers and turnip greens from the school garden. Since Mrs. Perkins will be retiring in the Fall, she arranged for Buddy’s new home to be in Bartlett Yancey High School with teacher Sarah Smith.
“We’re excited to welcome Buddy to our animal science classes as a class pet. He will join many other animals we house here on campus, including my six-year-old bearded dragon Fred. My students learn proper animal care, identification and nutrition through our classroom animals. I have watched several students grow by simply handling animals in the classroom,” Ms. Smith explained.
While Buddy knows he will miss his Stoney Creek family, he is excited to make new friends and continue sharing his gifts with local high school students. He’s also heard the turnip greens in the school’s cafeteria are delicious!