Blacksburg 4th grader starts petition to get rules changed in HOA

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A little girl in Blacksburg is taking on her neighborhood HOA in a battle over backyard chickens.

“There’s a farm behind my house so like why not?” said Avery Prussin. “Why am I not allowed to have chickens? Like there are horses, cows, like a bunch of things.”

Avery Prussin is a fourth grader at Harding Avenue Elementary School.

Every year, her teacher Will Holliman hatches chickens in his class to teach students the life cycle.

“It builds engagement tremendously and engagement is highly significant in the classroom,” Holliman said.

But Avery has taken extra interest in the project.

“There is nothing more a teacher loves seeing than when a student goes home and takes her own initiative of what they’re learning in school and applying it to a real-life situation,” Holliman said.

As the countdown continued for the eggs to hatch, Avery, more and more, wanted to find a way to keep one of the chickens.

There was only one issue, her HOA doesn’t allow chickens.

“I wrote this persuasive essay, and I got a bunch of signatures from my neighbors,” Avery said.

Seeing her initiative – Avery’s parents knew she must be serious.

Avery Prussin's original petition to the HOA with signatures. (Copyright 2024 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

“I emailed just a copy of her little letter that she had written to the HOA board,” said Jessica Prussin, Avery’s mom. “They gave us the formal process that you would have to attend the HOA meeting and formally file a petition to change our bylaws in our HOA.”

And that is exactly what they did.

“I think most of the neighbors will say ‘yes’ to it about having chickens,” Avery said.

Holliman said seeing this is exactly what education is about.

“Education should be about real-life application,” Holliman said.

For Avery, she said if the rules change, she’ll be beyond excited.

I reached out to the head of the HOA and they tell me they are in the process of getting the neighbor’s input.

They need over half the neighbors to agree for the rule to change.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

Recommended Videos