Elm River Colony near Newton is home to Brennan School whose students have been keeping a close eye on the development of monarch butterflies. 

Principal Elma Maendel says they released their last three butterflies Tuesday. 

"We do this every fall and it helps teach the kids about metamorphosis, the butterfly life cycle, and also it gives them an appreciation for nature," says Maendel. "We started this project back in 2010, and since then, almost every fall we've been able to find caterpillars. And this year, the monarchs, unfortunately, are once again on the endangered list."

She explains they're hoping that each caterpillar they raised will help bring them that much further out of the endangered list. Maendel notes the children enjoy being up close and personal with nature and everyone's hoping that their butterflies will make it to Mexico, so that next spring, they'll have a new kaleidoscope here.

Silas Maendel is a Grade 1 student and explains why they fly to Mexico.

"Here it is cold, but there it's not much cold," notes Silas. "First, they're a little tiny egg, and then he starts to eat it, and he's a caterpillar. He eats and he grows, and they make a chrysalis and then fly to Mexico. They are Monarchs!"