WHEELING - Our Lady of Peace School fourth-graders are learning about wild animals and how to be entrepreneurs.
As part of a service learning project at the Wheeling school, teacher Krista Gessler's class wanted to participate in the "Adopt An Animal" program with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
The program entails earmarking a monetary contribution to provide for a specific animal.
Photo by Zach Macormac
Students of Krista Gessler’s fourth grade class at Our Lady of Peace School show off the bookmarks they made that earned them $300 to support exotic animals. From left are Brendan Smith, Ava Koontz, Aubrey Gossett and Cole Saseen.
The students then brainstormed how to raise money. They drew colored, laminated "bookmarks" featuring a different animal with various facts written on the back. They sold each for a quarter.
"They chose a day to hold the sale and they made signs for the hallways," Gessler said. "They also decided to sell animal stickers, tattoos and erasers. The class then set up a table at lunch with our items and took on shifts to sell the items themselves."
The students came up with an idea, advertised their cause and, on the day of the sale, worked with money as a business would.
When all lunch periods were over, their money totaled more than $300.
"They were very involved in the whole project and so excited to hear how much they raised," Gessler said.
Of the total raised, $200 was split among seven animal exhibits: Masai giraffe, Amur tiger, African elephant, loggerhead sea turtle, African painted dog, polar bear and "Pittsburgh" Penguin, an exhibit mixing Gentoo, King and Macaroni penguins. In return, the students will receive an adoption certificate, on-site recognition and memorabilia.
The other $100 will go locally to the Oglebay Good Zoo's Raptor Rehabilitation program. In return, the students will have a brick installed at the zoo with their group's name on it.
Gessler's class will continue the project inside the school as it invites younger students to visit a zoo-themed mural. The fourth-grade class will teach the younger ones about the adopted animals.