WES World Changers: The Koala Project

Recently, fourth grader Aspen Kingsbury and fifth 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 details, as well as an informational video that Principal Smith received from the Koala Hospital. WES 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 on this day. The Williams’ adoptions will help with “the rescue and treatment of sick and injured koalas and release them back to their home range where possible. The 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.”

Mrs. Smith was pleased to announce that on March 16, the WES community raised $550.63 (more money still coming in)! This money led to Williams Elementary adopting 8 koalas for a year and donating $70 to the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie. The staff and students of Williams Elementary School greatly appreciate the generous donations from everyone that gave to this special cause.

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 on Tuesday, March 29th. Principal Smith shared that the interview went very well on Tuesday, and that they have a future meeting scheduled with the reporter where Jones is organizing a virtual tour of the Koala Hospital for WES students. Not only will students be able to see the Koala Hospital they raised money to support, but the children will be able to see the actual koalas the school has adopted! Principal Smith shared that reporter Alexandra Jones has been an amazing Australian connection for the school during this initiative.

Way to go Williams Elementary on truly impacting our world for the better! What incredible lessons these little ones are learning about seeing a need and taking action to help others. Stay tuned to see Williams Elementary’s interview with Alexandra Jones. We will share the story once it’s published! #WeAreRSU18

To learn more about the Koala Hospital Williams Elementary staff and students are working alongside, click here.

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