Çow Plop popular event at Carson City’s Fremont

When I was about 3 or 4, I used to love to step in cow pies. When we’d see one, my cousin and I would race to it to be the first one to sink our bare feet into the warm, squishy pile.

It’s pretty gross, so I wouldn’t talk about it openly — just to you, my closest friends.

Not since those days have I seen such excitement about cow patties as at Fremont Elementary School during the annual cow plop.

The parent-teacher association organizes the fundraiser, where people can buy squares on a grid. Local rancher Julian Smith, of the Smith Ranch in Washoe Valley, brings in a cow that spends the day at the school.

When the cow poops, whoever’s square it’s in, wins the prize. This year’s prizes were a trip for four to Disneyland for the first “plop,” a $250 gift certificate for second and a family fun pack to Pier 39 for third.

“There are a lot of people in the community that look forward to it every year,” said Caroline Croley, membership chairwoman of the PTA.

The entire student body gets in on the fun as well. The class that raises the most money earns a pizza party, and the students who sell the most tickets win prizes as well. The students compete in a contest to see who has the best “moo.”

On Friday, Smith brought over a Dutch Belted Galloway calf (the ones most people refer to as Oreo cows).

“He’s so cute,” said Wyatt Rankin, 6. “If Ms. Redmon (that’s his kindergarten teacher) lets me, I want to take him home.”

His classmate Alex Bennett, 6, won the school-wide contest for the best “mooer.” She said she didn’t do anything in particular to prepare.

“I just knew how to do it,” she said.


Fremont Elementary School has also been immersed in the arts and sciences this week.

With a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, Get in the Act: Science Theater has been working with third- and fourth-graders on force in motion.

The science theater group, based in Stateline, taught more than 7,000 students this year in Arkansas, California and Nevada.

Through improvisational theater, students learn scientific concepts, explained Diane Handzel, executive director and lead teaching artist.

At Fremont, students demonstrated a music video, acting out the idea of push and pull through dance movements.

“It’s a quick way for them to get the concepts,” Handzel said. “It reinforces what they’re learning because next year in fifth grade they get tested in science. It’s a good way to get the concepts into their bones.”

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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