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First-graders raise money to foster an orphaned elephant

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First-graders participating in Broadalbin-Perth’s Summer Academy hosted a fundraiser Wednesday, July 19, to raise money to foster an elephant through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and promote awareness about orphaned elephants.

The fundraiser is the culmination of the students’ activities since July 10 in what they called the Save The Elephant Project, or S.T.E.P. The project is student-directed, meaning the students worked together to come up with ideas to raise money for and promote awareness about orphaned elephants. The fundraiser featured student greeters, an information station, photographers, “Amazing African Artists,” a concession stand, a game center, and a shop where visitors had the opportunity to purchase items created by the first-grade students, including coasters, necklaces, bookmarks and keychains.

First-grade teacher Cindy Hartney has conducted similar projects with her students during the regular school year, but this is the first time she offered it over the summer. Mia Priamo, who is entering fourth grade in the fall, was part of the first class to complete the project with Hartney, and she returned to volunteer with the first-graders this summer.

S.T.E.P. was partially funded through a grant from Stewart’s Holiday Match, which paid for materials the students used to make their merchandise and ingredients for the concession stand food, including trail mix and “elephant bread.”