On Friday, May 24, at the grand opening of the San Diego Zoo’s new Australian Outback exhibit, four Del Mar Heights first-grade classes presented over $500 of donations towards sustaining the endangered koalas who call the exhibit home.
Students earned money in a variety of ways. Some set up lemonade stands while others performed jobs around their homes. After the money was collected it was sorted and counted, offering authentic experience using math skills. Students spent time learning about koalas, drafting essays and creating artwork while gaining an understanding of the adorable Australian marsupials. Their work culminated with a special assembly at the zoo where students were hosted by San Diego Zoological Society staff who offered their appreciation and presented each class with a plush koala to be their classroom mascot.
“The students are very proud that their efforts have had a positive affect on the world around them,” said first-grade teacher Teresa Solis. “Their enthusiasm has been phenomenal and the learning that goes on has been very rich.”
The first-grade koala sponsorship project is one of many service-learning activities to occur each year at Del Mar Heights School. Students at all grade levels are frequently engaged in service-learning projects to their benefit and the benefit of the world around them. Providing meaningful and tangible learning experiences through service creates powerful thinkers and responsible citizens.