REED CITY — The judge so ruled that several chicks in Pam Bloom’s third grade class at G.T. Norman Elementary School were, indeed, adopted after hearing promises by the children involved that they would be responsible for their welfare.

The annual activity allows the class to sort of learn which comes first, the chicken or the egg, and after watching the egg sit pretty motionless in an incubator which one child called a long time, they finally hatched.

When they did, prospective adoptive parents from the classroom already had been identified. In addition, the prospective adoptive grandparents had approved. All it took after that was a box, some feed, a judge, a bailiff, a child’s oath, and some good-byes from the rest of the class, as the chicks headed for their new homes.

The activity is meant to be a learning activity, showing not only the reality of hatching chicks, but also to teach the children a bit about the importance of following through on promises. The role of judge and that of a bailiff, brought a glimpse of court proceedings into the classroom as well.

The honorable judge Anthony Alexander began the proceedings by stating, “We are here today to approve the adoption of these baby chicks to four families.”

The bailiff, Jenna, called forward the four students: Lily, Nolan, Abby, and Julia, had them state their full names, and raise their right hands. She asked, “Do you promise to take good care of these chicks.” All answered, “I do.” She then asked, “Do you promise to feed them, water them, and make sure their pen is clean.” Again, all four stated, “I do.”

They were asked to approach the bench, and Judge Alexander firmly said, “Lily, Nolan, Abby, and Julia have made a promise before this entire classroom. Raising animals is a big responsibility.” Then he looked at them just as firmly, with a wide grin, and asked, “Are you sure you will take good care of these chicks?”

That response was followed by having them sign the adoption paper, then he signed the Chick Adoption paper, proclaimed “By the power given to me by Ms. Bloom’s Third Grade Class, I declare Lily, Nolan, Abby and Julia to be the adoptive parents of these chicks.”

Congratulations were in store, then it was time to pack up the chicks and go home, and start chores. After all, they did promise.