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Elk Ridge School first graders are big eagles fans

04/08/2014 04:15PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Schools

Elk Ridge School first graders in Laura James’ class helped run a fruit and vegetable stand in the school’s lobby to raise funds for their class’s project to adopt the Bald Eagles at the Philadelphia Zoo. Pictured front from left are volunteer Cassie Stanley, Eva Stanley, Liam Hampshire, Hannah Espenscheid, Kayden Baumgardner, Hector Guzman, Jasmine Johnson and Mrs. James.

The students in Laura James’ first grade class at Elk Ridge Elementary School recently held a fruit and vegetable fundraiser to adopt the bald eagles at the Philadelphia Zoo in honor of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

An “Honor Wall” behind the fruit and vegetable stand held pictures of many people who have touched the students' lives in some way through their service to America.

The students began their project by conducting research to find interesting facts about the bald eagles.  The students viewed a webcam almost every day to study a pair of wild eagles living in Pittsburgh, and wrote down their discoveries in an eagle observation journal.  

“We are now waiting for the eaglets to make their appearance,” said James. 

The students wrote and read persuasive letters to Principal Herbert Hayes, explaining why the class would like to host a fruit and vegetable fundraiser. They created posters to place around the school so that others could learn about the eagles, too. The students also learned how to advertise their ideas. As the big day approached, they designed speeches that were read to the entire school.

On March 20, the students took turns throughout the day selling nutritious foods to students and staff members. “They had to count money and make change, allowing them real-world experience with these important skills,” said James. 

Through the sale, the class earned a grand total of $461.50 toward adoption of the eagles. They will visit their adopted bald eagles on the annual first grade field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo in May. 

“They will get a bird’s-eye view of their stewardship,” said James.

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