Duckling daycare

École St. Anne kindergarten teacher Simon Lambert shows off the ducks provided by Memorial Gardens and River Park Memorial Chapel. The students will raise two ducklings for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Local children to raise ducks in the classroom and release them into nature

The ducklings arrived at École St. Anne at 10:30 a.m.

Eighteen peeping and cheeping yellow cotton balls showed up in a box to Simon Lambert’s kindergarten class. With his students seated on the floor around him, Lambert reached into the little cardboard container and delicately placed two of the not-yet-one-day-old ducklings into the hands of his curious and jittery students. One month from now the children will have two fully-grown ducks on their hands.

But first thing’s first: they have to pick out names.

The ducklings came courtesy of Memorial Gardens and River Park Memorial Chapel. For the past 20 years the cemetery and the funeral home have been bringing freshly hatched ducklings to Prince Albert and area schools and daycares for the students to raise. On Friday, June 9 the cemetery is hosting its annual “Duck Launch,” where the birds will be ceremoniously released into the pond at Memorial Chapel.

“It’s a way of having children come to the cemetery with parents, with grandparents, so it’s not such a scary, scary place as it used to be when you used to go to an old graveyard,” said Don Cody, pre-arrangement specialist at Memorial Gardens.

“Now it’s just more welcoming when you have something live like this here for the kids to look at. And in the summertime there’s very, very rarely a moment when there isn’t something there feeding the ducks.”

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