Craig second-graders take in Meeker Classic this week |

Craig second-graders take in Meeker Classic this week

Sandrock Elementary second-graders Dustin Santistevan, Abbie Blackwell, Danika Garcia, Madison Wilkey, Trystin Gallegos, Jayden Evenson and Andrew Duran enjoy their snow cones while cheering for the sheepdog trials at the Meeker Classic on Wednesday morning.
Lauren Blair

Sheep, sheepdogs and their handlers put on a show for Craig’s second-graders this week at the Meeker Classic. Students from all four elementary schools made the trip to Meeker on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to take in the sheepdog championship trials and learn from artisans at the food and craft festival.

Sandrock students belonging to Allison LeWarne and Shawn Steele’s second-grade classes prepped for the field trip in the classroom in the days leading up to the event. The kids ran through mock trials in order to understand how the trials worked and what the rules were.

By the time they pulled up to the sheepdog trial site, the kids were primed and eager.

“They looked out into the field and could see the sheepdog outside chasing the sheep and they got all excited because they knew what was happening,” Steele said.

The students began their morning in the art barn, where they were able to see the work of different artists on display and vote for their favorite, followed by a talk with the handlers.

“They learned about the point system, what the outrun is worth, they added up the points and they got to score a run,” Steele said, highlighting the opportunity the students had to practice adding and subtracting.

The second-graders were also given a demonstration on wool-spinning — replete with their own piece of hand-spun wool to take home with them —and snowcones, a favorite part of the day for many of the kids.

“It’s just a great experience for kids to get to see the sheep industry because it’s part of where they live,” Steele said. “They get to see how and why we raise sheep … and how we process from wool to yarn.”

The students were eager participants when it came time for the therapy dog presentation. Nearly everyone raised their hands to volunteer to stumble around the dogs on crutches or with a walker in order to demonstrate the comfort level that therapy dogs must have with medical equipment.

The field trip concluded with a picnic lunch downtown and a visit to the White River Museum.

“In class we focus on how people and animals depend on their environment, one of our standards for second-graders,” Steele said.

The Meeker Classic is a great experience for students, Steele explained, because “we take what we’re supposed to teach based on our standards and we’re able to apply that and give them some hands-on experience.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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