Moonshadow and Friends
Who is Moonshadow?
In a sunny little pasture, on a quiet street in Brandon, lives a friendly herd of goats that graze on grass and hay, eat fresh oak leaves, and wander under the trees.
The largest of these goats, a big boy with brown and white markings, is a handsome fella named Moonshadow.
Originally from Whitestar farm in North Carolina, Moonshadow is a very friendly Nigerian dwarf goat that loves attention from children and adults alike.
Bottle fed as a baby, Moonshadow is good-natured and curious. In fact, he seems to capture everyone’s affection. When visitors come, he meets them at the gate, eager for attention. If you ever wondered whether goats have personalities … you only have to meet Moonshadow to realize that they do!
So, who gets the opportunity to meet Moonshadow? Most visitors to First Discoveries Academy tour the playground, organic garden, and goat pasture as they learn about the programs offered to children at Brandon’s only Eco-Healthy, Nature-Inspired early childhood program.
Which, of course, brings us to the next question … Why exactly does an early childhood program have a herd of goats?
Visiting with Moonshadow!
“Caring for animals provides so many learning opportunities for children!” explains the owner, Cindy McConnell. “Every day, a small group of preschool or kindergarten children accompany the teacher to the goat pasture and help feed and care for the goats – filling their hay, giving each goat a scoop of grain, cleaning water containers, even brushing the goats with special brushes. Being calm around the animals promotes self-regulation and gives children opportunities to learn about animals through hands-on experiences. It’s one of the many ways our kids learn about the world every day!”