Petting Zoo Comes To Liberty For A Reading Reward

Emily Barnett, Alix Queen, and Sruthi Ramesh


Sruthi Ramesh

Senior Amanda Yoder pets a baby goat at the petting zoo hosted by the library.

Elizabeth Hamby, Reporter

A family business called Zoo for You drove up in a truck with animals in the cattle grid, bringing them to the section of grass parallel to the 400/200 hall, used for the preschoolers’ play area. The furry creatures came on a perfect day, with the nice weather and the stress of students needing to be alleviated so the animals provided that much-needed calm for the people involved. 

The event was organized by librarians Ms. Oliva and Ms. Dotson after introducing a challenge for students to participate in. The challenge was in participation with the database called Sora (from Overdrive). Sora provides students with a world of audio and electronic books to explore and enjoy. Students who read for a certain amount of time on the Sora app and completed various tasks received the privilege of access to the amazing petting zoo.

So on April 28, the petting zoo came to town and stole everybody’s hearts. Hank the cow was Ms. Genenbacher’s personal favorite animal, especially since her son shares the name. Hank was a very calm soul and could be found sleeping for most of the time spent outside. 

Olaf the llama was also a fan favorite due to his very fluffy deep fur. Many pictures were taken of students and teachers kissing him and hugging his long neck. 

Among the zoo there were twin lambs named Java and Mocha and a goat named Logan.  

There were also many bunnies and a couple of chickens enclosed in separate spaces inside the “play area.”

Ms. Braswell and Ms. Genenbacher lived for the amazing up-close experience. Braswell, an English teacher, loved the fact that the challenge was reading-based, so she urged her students to participate. 

“Now I bet you wish you listened in English class,” she said. 

It was an amazing experience that Oliva and Dotson captured clad with matching shirts with the saying “Zoo Crew” paired with a llama graphic. Thanks to Oliva’s husband, who is the DECA sponsor at Timberland, they were able to capture this joyous moment.

No worries if you missed it. Oliva and Dotson are planning on doing this again definitely in future years. They believe that there will be more excitement and participation the next time around. 

Once you experience a bunch of bustling teens learning that goats were only $10, you will understand that it will be the only time you hear high schoolers audibly groan as the bell rings to end the class.