Moriches Elementary School fourth-grade students (now rising fifth graders) recently “adopted” their own silverback gorilla in the lowlands of Africa as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) adopt-an-animal program. Over several months, the students collected, donated and recycled 2,000 water bottles with all proceeds ($100) going to the WWF to help that organization develop the tourism industry in Africa, monitor the population of the silverback gorillas, preserve their habitats and prevent poaching.
The fourth-grade classes celebrated this effort with a reading of the “One and Only Ivan” by Katharine Applegate and a student presentation about the book, followed by a reveal of the grade-level vote for a name of their very own 16” plush gorilla. With 37.4% of the vote, the students chose the name “Kong,” narrowly beating out “Ivan Jr” which garnered 36% of the vote. “Tag” and “Blue” rounded out the other choices. Throughout the month of June, “Kong” visited each fourth-grade classroom.
Allison Conklin’s and Leah Olivo’s classes spearheaded this project and fundraiser, and students in Sue Gleason’s, Sharon McCue’s, Kate Pon-Johnson’s, Nicolle Ranieri’s and Tom Short’s classes all pitched in to make this a successful fourth-grade effort. They hope to build upon this effort next year!