Warwick Elementary 3rd grade class wins Just Zoo It

MD-Warwick class wins just zoo it_4x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
School Board Assistant Superintendent Dwayne Abt (rear, far left) and Superintendent Dr. Henry Wagner join Warwick 3rd grade teacher Julie Wagner and Warwick Principal Leslie Tolley in congratulating students in that class for winning the Salisbury Zoo’s Just Zoo It! competition. The class will receive a free trip to the Salisbury Zoo for collecting the most money donated in Dorchester County classrooms.

SECRETARY — The Delmarva Zoological Society Prize Patrol surprised an excited group of 3rd graders today at Warwick Elementary School who raised more than any other class in all of Dorchester County for the Just Zoo It campaign. Teacher Julie Wagner’s 3rd grade class was overwhelmed with the confetti and excitement as the Prize Patrol team rushed in to congratulate them and share the exciting news.

This is the fifth year that students across the Lower Shore have collected coins and cash in special Just Zoo It! containers for the Delmarva Zoological Society, the non-profit that raises money for capital improvement projects at the Salisbury Zoo. The class that raised the most in each county is rewarded with a special VIP trip to the zoo in the spring to meet Zookeepers, learn about the collection of animals, enjoy a pizza party, cupcakes, and take home a t-shirt and a zoo stuffed animal.

“We are so appreciative of every student who helped collect coins for the Salisbury Zoo,” said Ralph Piland, zoo director. “We love that students are learning how to give back to their community and we hope they know that they are really helping to make a difference in their community. The Salisbury Zoo relies on community support and the Just Zoo It program allows students to take a role in that.”

Students all across Delmarva participated in the Just Zoo It! campaign last fall during Halloween, collecting coins for the Delmarva Zoological Society. Overall, the campaign in 2015 raised more than $32,000 for DZS, and since it began five years ago, has raised almost $150,000. All the money raised goes to help Renew the Zoo, and has helped fund several projects such as the wallaby exhibit, which was part of the Discover Australia project.

DZS has partnered with area schools who distributed the specially-made Just Zoo It cans which were donated by Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Salisbury. The staff at Lower Shore Enterprises helped wrap the cans with the Just Zoo It labels and warehouse space was donated by Vernon Powell Shoes. All of the coins were counted by employees at First Shore Federal.

“Seeing how much students all over the Delmarva Peninsula love the zoo helps motivate us to work even harder to make sure we have an outstanding zoo in our community,” said DZS Board Chair Ashley Bosche. “We know how special the zoo is and it’s gratifying to see it reflected in the excitement every year of these students who want to do something to give back.”

More winners will be announced in the next two weeks. VIP trips will be awarded to the class that raises the most in each county, among private schools, and one random class will also be rewarded with a special VIP day at the zoo. Last week the grand prize winner was announced. That was the class that raised the most money overall among all categories. That was the 5th grade class at The Salisbury School who in addition to the VIP trip to the zoo will get to go inside the Andean Bear exhibit and learn how zookeepers care for the bears.

The Delmarva Zoological Society is the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created to raise funds for the Salisbury Zoo. To learn more about Just Zoo It or DZS, go to RenewTheZoo.com or call (410) 742-3977.

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