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Butterflies released into the wild by John Mills students

Vince Fiore holding a butterfly
Sam Britten, Marketing & Publishing Specialist

Spring has sprung, not just for Elmwood Park, but for butterflies as well. In the pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and second grade hallways at John Mills Elementary, students gazed upon the chrysalises safely growing inside their mesh habitats. 

Students spent the past few weeks learning about the lifecycle of butterflies as they started as eggs, grew into caterpillars, became chrysalises and eventually emerged as butterflies. 

The butterflies wait in their mesh habitat outside of Vince Fiore's classroom

The butterflies wait in their mesh habitat before being released outdoors

“It’s super exciting to see the change happen before them,” said Kindergarten Teacher Vince Fiore. “Even for me, every time it’s a really amazing thing.”

Fiore’s kindergarten class released all but one of their butterflies at the playground as students watched them fly into the wild. His own students and other fifth grade students at recess, amassed around Fiore as he released the butterflies one by one. 

Students stand around Vince as he opens the butterfly habitat

Students watch as Fiore releases the butterflies

Student Zachary Moran said his favorite part of the project was letting the insects go “because we can see them up close.”

One of the butterflies in Fiore’s habitat struggled to fly, so the class decided to keep him at John Mills for a little while longer. Soon, it can join its fellow winged companions in the great outdoors.

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