Ag-based curriculum invigorates Kansas school

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Photo - In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, second grader Brooklynn Black, and third grader Alice Claassen, left, look after the school's mule during morning chores at the Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center in Walton, Kan. Located in a small farming community, the school faced closing before re-establishing itself as an agriculture-focused charter school and more than doubling enrollment. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, second grader Brooklynn Black, and third grader Alice Claassen, left, look after the school's mule during morning chores at the Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center in Walton, Kan. Located in a small farming community, the school faced closing before re-establishing itself as an agriculture-focused charter school and more than doubling enrollment. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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WALTON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school that once was on the brink of closure has found new life as an agriculture-themed charter school.

Students at the Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center now learn through projects that range from selling eggs to showing pigs at the county fair.

The farm curriculum has been replicated elsewhere, including urban environments in Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Walton school is located in a farming community of 235 people. It had barely 80 students when the school district decided to transform the kindergarten to fourth-grade building as an agriculture-focused charter school.

Since making the switch in 2007, enrollment was grown to 183 students. Parents frequently call the school, eager to nab a spot for their children. One of the waiting list's latest additions was a 3-week-old baby.

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