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Walton Charter Academy Scholars Tame Their Nerves to Interact with Reptiles and Spiders

It was a day many scholars looked forward to, but a few, including some teachers, knew well enough to stay clear: reptile day.
Visitors from The Reptarium in Utica, Mich., brought in a variety of reptiles and spiders to Walton Charter Academy to interact with the top 50 students with the best attendance. The event was planned to celebrate the students’ hard work and dedication toward making attendance a top priority for the school year. These students exemplify the work being done at Walton, which has outperformed the local district for the past 13 years.

Many students were tentative at first, but warmed quickly when they witnessed the docile nature of the reptiles and were able to interact with the staff of The Reptarium.
“The students seemed nervously excited at first, but many were eager to touch the various animals that The Reptarium speaker brought around,” Walton Office Administrator Jennifer Kreger said. “The majority of the students were delighted to be able to see all of the animals.”

A few older students chose not to interact with the animals but sat in the back of the room to listen to the presentation. They were still interested in learning about the different animals even though they preferred to keep their distance. 
Some changed their minds by the end of the presentation and posed for photos with snakes.

“We had a few students that were very uncomfortable and scared of the snakes but at least two of those students touched the largest snakes by the end of the presentation,” Kreger said. “The guest speaker made sure to bring awareness to the fact that while many reptiles have a bad reputation, they can actually be nicer than the dogs and cats we commonly have as house pets. That helped put the students at ease.”

About Walton Charter Academy
Walton Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Pontiac, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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