Curator travels hundreds of miles to educate kids

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — We often report on fundraisers in the Central Illinois community, but they’re not always organized by grade school students.

This is a follow-up to a story we first brought you in June. Valerie Prescott’s fifth grade class at Barkstall Elementary is raising money for Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend, Tennessee. The group helps orphaned and injured black bear cubs.

Last week, David Whitehead, Assistant Curator with Appalachian Bear Rescue, visited the class. He traveled hundreds of miles to talk to the kids about how important their donations are.

“We don’t have a group of anybody — other than just in the local 2 or 3 counties around Townsend, Tennessee — that do anything,” says Whitehead.

This is the third year that Prescott’s class has picked the bear rescue for their service project.

“I think it’s really good because I love bears and I think they deserve better than being ran over by cars and eating litter,” says student Elliana Bryant.

“I really like this project because it helps the bears that are injured and have been in the orphanage and it can save their life,” says student Alicia Thomas.

Students collect can tabs, encourage their other classmates to donate and sometimes even bring in money from their own piggy banks.

The kids learn a lot about the bears, but it’s also a lesson about how big the world is, and how far their help can reach.

“They’re learning that, you know, there’s more than just what’s in their local area to be concerned about,” says Whitehead.

If you’re interested in donating, you can send can tabs to Barkstall Elementary, courtesy of Valerie Prescott’s 5th grade classroom. They raised money during a Celebrity Scoop Night at Marble Slab Creamery.

To learn more about Appalachian Bear Rescue, click here.

NOTE: All bear video is courtesy  of Appalachian Bear Rescue.

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