Opticians in Airdrie and Coatbridge have teamed up with ZooLab UK to offer local primary schools the chance to enjoy an interactive sensory workshop.

Children from local schools submitted letters, poems and short stories to Specsavers, each outlining why their class deserved to win this unique animal handling experience.

The winners have been chosen and this month both Victoria Primary in Airdrie and St Patricks Primary in Coatbridge welcomed an array of exotic creatures into the classroom for a day.

A word from our store optical assistant

Janice Dornan, optical assistant and in-store merchandiser at Specsavers, organised the competition. She said: ‘We love the concept of these sensory workshops and think it’s a great way for kids to learn about science and their own senses, as they play such a crucial part in children’s education.

‘It was great to involve the kids by asking them to nominate their class and we thoroughly enjoyed reading all their entries. Both the schools we visited were very enthusiastic and engaged with all aspects of the workshop with many of the pupils being brave enough to touch and hold the creepy crawlies.’

Congratulation winners

The winning entries this year came from Mia Rankin at St Patricks Primary and Neve McAllister from Victoria Primary.

ZooLab workshops allow kids to get up close and personal with an array of exotic creatures while learning about their ecosystems and habitat. The programme offered to schools is developed to tie in with the national curriculum and offers a real hands-on learning experience with a trained ZooLab ranger.

Youngsters can see, touch and handle animals, such as an African land snail, Madagascar hissing cockroach, corn snake, cane toad, emperor scorpion, Caribbean hermit crab or Chilean rose tarantula.

All Airdrie store information

All Coatbridge store information

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