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Cold Spring School Students Selling Handmade Books to Benefit Santa Barbara Zoo

By Julia McHugh for the Santa Barbara Zoo |

Two classes of third-grade students from Montecito’s Cold Spring School have created colorful, fact-filled original books about endangered animals that will be for sale at the Santa Barbara Zoo from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3.

This “Advocates 4 Animals” event is hoped to raise awareness and more than $5,000 to benefit zoo animals through the “Foster Feeder” program as well as endangered animals all over the world.

This event came about as a result of reading the novel The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. The group built a strong connection with the character of an honest, humble and powerful, yet gentle, silverback gorilla Ivan. The third-graders decided that they wanted to help endangered animals like Ivan all over the world.

“These students are genuinely determined and passionate about their cause,” teacher Annie Villa said. “They are only 9 years old, but are the future leaders of our community. They saw the need for awareness and rose to the occasion. Their hearts have been poured onto the pages of these books.”

The third-graders embarked on a “service learning project” called Advocates 4 Animals to create books about some of the unique and special zoo animals such as golden lion tamarin, three-banded armadillo and red-tailed hawk. They conducted research about each species and used the research as a basis for their books.

A total of 27 books have been written and will be for sale at Tuesday's event. Softbound copies are $10 and hardbacks are $25.

“As a teacher, it has been such a privilege to share in this experience with each student,” Villa said. “We have learned so much about ourselves, about each other, and about the important part every living thing plays to make our world a better, more beautiful place.”

To learn more about the Advocates 4 Animals event at the Santa Barbara Zoo, click here or contact Mari Callahan at Cold Spring School at [email protected] or Villa at Cold Spring School at [email protected].

For directions to the Santa Barbara Zoo, click here or call 805.962.5339.

— Julia McHugh is the public relations director for the Santa Barbara Zoo.




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