Taking Care of our Friends at the Saint Louis Zoo

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Taking Care of our Friends at the Saint Louis Zoo

We are thrilled to once again have AmeriCorps Members serving at The Biome School. We have been chosen for the second year in a row to receive a Federal AmeriCorps grant award from the Missouri Community Service Commission. Our AmeriCorps members play a vital role in The Biome School community. They are actively engaged in every classroom, they work to help provide support for individual learners’ needs, and work to create fun projects for the whole school to engage in.

This year our team includes:

  1. Hawo Abud, Kindergarten
  2. Cydney Johnson, Kindergarten
  3. Breanna Redmond, 1st Grade
  4. Olivia Lasala, 1st Grade
  5. Natalie Guard, Returning Member, 2nd Grade
  6. Cole Warner, 2nd Grade
  7. Ryan Keeney, 3rd Grade
  8. Kara Urbanek, Returning Member, 3rd Grade
  9. Ivette Lozano, Returning Member, 4th Grade
  10. Lauren Denney

Our AmeriCorps team has hit the ground running, eager to contribute to the school in many ways. Most recently, the team of 10, joined together to put on a Loose Change Drive as a September 11th service project. Each classroom was given a container to fill with loose change from September 10th until the 14thwith the goal of raising money for the Saint Louis Zoo, one of our school partners. The classroom that raised the most money would be able to choose the animal that the school would “adopt” from the zoo.

As classes raised money, their daily totals were marked on thermometers outside the office. This helped encourage healthy competition between classrooms. The challenge gave learners the opportunity to practice their math skills as they helped count the money and learned about the different coins and amounts. Every class researched the different zoo animals and voted on which one they would choose to adopt. In third grade, during their animal research, many of the learners thought they would actually get an animal to live at The Biome.  In response, each learner wrote a journal entry about what they thought would happen if either one of our animals, a cheetah or black rhino, actually came to live at our school. We can only imagine the creative endings to these stories!

When the week was over, The Biome raised an overwhelming amount of over $800 to donate to the Zoo! Kristin Williams’ kindergarten class raised the most coins with a staggering amount of over $250, yet most classes were not too far behind. The impressive effort from the learners led the AmeriCorps team to rethink the original incentive and decided to let each classroom choose their own animal to “adopt”. Each class will earn recognition on the Zoo’s donor wall, a certificate of adoption, a fact sheet, and a color picture of their individual animal! Ms. Williams’ class will also receive a plush animal and a book about their chosen animal as a special prize for raising the most money.  Each class voted and chose the following:

  • Williams Kindergarten – Golden Lion Tamarin
  • Mitchell Kindergarten – Grevy’s Zebra
  • Sullivan 1st Grade – Great Horned Owl
  • Smith 1st Grade – Cheetah
  • Giacone 2nd Grade – Humboldt Penguin
  • Jordan 2nd Grade – Red Panda
  • Hoffman 3rd Grade – Black Rhinoceros
  • Turney 3rd Grade – Cheetah
  • Walker 4th Grade – Polar Bear

The AmeriCorps team was incredibly grateful to all The Biome families for helping make such a successful loose change drive!