Seeing multiple!

Posted on Mar 26 2019 in Noble REMC
Luke, one half of the Berryhill twins, recently took part in a Noble REMC electrical safety demonstration at Country Meadow Elementary School. Luke and his brother, Devin, are one pair of six multiples in the first grade at the school.

The rate of twin births in the U.S. is approximately 33 per 1,000 people, accounting for 1.5 percent of all pregnancies. The probability of giving birth to triplets is even less.

These numbers prove students are experiencing something extraordinary at Country Meadow Elementary School, a member of Noble REMC in DeKalb County: the first grade class alone includes five sets of twins and one set of triplets.

That may seem like quite the endeavor for teachers Jaimi Chorpenning and Heather Ford, but parents say the school has been accommodating, if not going above and beyond, at handling the unique circumstances.

Dawn Yingling, mother to twins Jack and Max, says the circumstances of having her twins interacting with other multiples has let them be treated as “normal,” and teachers have encouraged their growth as individuals rather than a pair.

“I give their teachers and school staff a lot of credit in the way they allow Jack and Max to pursue their own identities,” Yingling said. “They have never treated them as a ‘package deal.’ They never compare them to each other, always encouraging them to grow in their own way.”

It was one of the biggest challenges the boys had to overcome in being twins and spending so much time together, Yingling said. They’re now learning to understand they are their own people, with different interests and abilities: Max playing Superman and Jack playing Batman.

While the twins have a lot in common and spend a lot of time together, Yingling said being a multiple also brings with it a lot of attention. Being in a classroom with other multiples takes that spotlight away and just lets them be themselves, Yingling explained.

“Twins and triplets always garner attention in public, and after years of being ‘that family with the twins,’ they can finally be in an environment where they don’t feel like they are on display,” Yingling said.

Devin and Luke Berryhill’s mother, Shannon, agrees.

To her, having so many multiples in the same grade and classrooms allows the idea of multiples to be ordinary. Even though it’s extraordinary to outsiders, it’s their everyday.

“I don’t think that the kids really recognize that their class is special in that way; it is just their normal,” Berryhill said. “It is neat to see as a parent.”

Though Luke is into sports and Devin is focused on being a farmer, Berryhill says that her boys are just like many twins. They have a special connection that’s hard to explain.

“Twins, even fraternal, have a bond that is just magnetic. No matter who is around, they are magnetically drawn to each other,” Berryhill said. “It was definitely a lot of work in the earlier years, but is so cool to see them getting to experience life with their best friend.”

And the best part for their parents? Yingling knows the answer instantly.

“Double the hugs every day!”

Luke and Devin Berryhill
Jack and Max Yingling