Chelsea Schreiber

Butterflies leave preschool cocoon in Hermosa Beach

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Matthew Boughton watches a butterfly ascend into the air from his hand on Friday morning. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Matthew Boughton watches a butterfly ascend into the air from his hand on Friday morning. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Jody Leventhal’s preschool class at Starfish Creative Learning Center discovered the joys of nature and bug life Friday morning when they released butterflies at Valley Park.

“Notice they’re so different from each other,” Leventhal said to the group of about ten children while bending over two cylindrical cages. “We grew them from the teeniest tiniest egg and they turned into a caterpillar and walked up the cages and wrapped themselves into a chrysalis and started to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, and tried to get out.”

Junie Smith waits in anticipation for a butterfly to be released. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Junie Smith waits in anticipation for a butterfly to be released. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

The children bent over the mesh cages, looking at the three kinds of butterflies they managed to hatch, including monarchs and a single painted lady. Some of the students poked at the cages while others stood a good a small distance back watching the commotion. The Hermosa Beach Rotary Club even arranged a special surprise and let twenty white doves into the air for the children to watch.

Three-year-old Junie Smith was apprehensive about touching the butterflies when she had the chance to let her namesake monarch June go free.

“Her butterfly was kinda fiery, which was funny because that’s like her personality,” said mother Katy Smith.

Other children watched in awe as parents opened their hands to show them the colorful creatures. Soon most of the butterflies were flying free in the park, circling the group of children and their families.

“It’s all about showing the kids that there’s something greater than themselves and it’s about taking care of each other,” Leventhal said. “It’s about keeping their feet firmly on the ground and getting them to understand that connection to the Earth.” ER

 

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