Maine’s Positive Story of the Day from Williams Elementary in Oakland~ The Koala Project at Williams Elementary School
Recently, 4th grader Aspen Kingsbury and 5th grader Garrett LaBonte submitted a proposal to Principal Smith for a special fundraiser to support the koalas in Australia that have been affected by the bush fires. The project came about as a result of Aspen reading the book, Wildlife Rescue Koala Hospital, from the Williams Elementary School library and discussing it with her friend Garrett while waiting for the bus one day after school. In the back of the book it shared ways to help the koalas. Williams students were motivated to adopt a koala at the Koala Hospital. On March 14, Aspen spoke about the project and fundraiser during the WES, “Be the Light Assembly,” to share information about the Australian koalas, adoption information and also shared an informational video that Principal Smith received from the Koala Hospital. Williams Elementary held a special hat day fundraiser on Wednesday, March 16. Students were able to make a donation of any amount to the Koala Project to wear a hat.
Principal Smith was pleased to announce that on March 16 the WES community raised $ 550.63 and adopted 8 Koalas for a year and donated $70 to the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie. The Williams’ adoptions will help with “the rescue and treatment of sick and injured koalas and release back to their home range where possible. The WES adoptions will also assist with the conservation and expansion of habitat, collection of information for research relating to habitat, disease, nutrition and habits of wild koalas. It also helps to provide educational material to increase public awareness of all aspects of the koala,” (https://www.koalahospital.org.au/page/adopt-a-koala/).
Principal Smith’s tweet about the project, sparked interest from Alexandra Jones, a reporter from Port Macquarie’s ABC news. Jones wrote, “I love the initiative from your students!” Alexandra Jones interviewed Mrs. Smith, Garrett and Aspen via Zoom on March 29th. Students were able to access the interview questions ahead of time to prepare their responses. Ms. Jones will be sharing the interview with Principal Smith once it airs so that Principal Smith is able to share it with the school community. Ms. Jones will also be meeting with Principal Smith, Aspen and Garrett again to take them on a virtual tour of the Koala Hospital, introduce them to the staff and also show them each koala they adopted.