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North Bellmore Third Graders Say ‘No bear Left Behind’

Pictured: A third grade class at Newbridge Road Elementary School raised $777 to help rescue moon bears after reading a nonfiction book about the animals.

Photo courtesy of the North Bellmore School District

 After reading a book about the plight of moon bears, third graders at Newbridge Road Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District decided to take action. And they sure did – raising hundreds of dollars for bear rescue efforts in Asia.

The student-led service project was a huge success, as Lynda Brust’s class collected $777.09 in just a few days. They split into teams to carry out the initiative. The different roles included promoting the fundraiser, educating other students about moon bears, providing each class with bags for donations and counting the money. The latter was quite the task, as most the donations came in the form of spare change.

“It’s heartwarming to see passionate students take ownership of their learning,” Ms. Brust said, who said the service project was sparked by a book that was part of the nonfiction reading unit. “It was a teamwork effort. Every student in the class was part of the moon bear effort in some way.”

Students, whose motto was “No bear left behind,” hope that their efforts will make an impact. The money they raised will be given to AnimalsAsia, a group devoted to ending bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals across Asia. The organization operates bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam, and also fights against abusive animal practices at safari parks and zoos.

“We’re saving animals and that’s a good thing,” third grader Dominic Mitchell said.

“It’s so nice that the whole school can do something together and it just feels amazing to help these animals,” added Maya Zucker.

Andrew Boylan was touched by the generosity of his fellow Newbridge Road students, saying, “Look at how much money people gave to save these animals, and I think that’s really kind.”

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