For immediate release
St. John’s County First Grade Class Wins Opportunity to Name a Penguin at Jacksonville Zoo
March 28, 2012 - Jacksonville, Fl -
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens partnered with Durbin Creek Elementary School last month for a penguin naming contest. Durbin Creek’s 58 classrooms started fundraising by collecting loose change to raise money for the feeding of the Jacksonville Zoo’s penguins. The class that raised the most money would win the opportunity to name one of the Zoo’s penguins. After running the contest for one week, a first grade class won by collecting $173.61 in change. The school collectively raised $1,600 for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ penguins.
The class has chosen to name the penguin Victoria, after a seven year old girl from Jacksonville, who is suffering from brain cancer. Funds raised at Durbin Creek’s Cares SNOW Much Day allowed Dreams Come True, a local nonprofit that grants the dreams of local children battling life-threatening illnesses, to send Victoria and her family on a trip to Montana to see real snow, something she has always dreamt of!
“My first grade class wanted to make a difference in another child’s life and were excited to name the penguin after a very deserving child,” said the teacher of the winning first grade class, Brooke Paget. “I could not be more proud of my amazing group of six and seven year olds. I have learned a lot from their generous hearts.”
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens took Victoria and her family on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the penguin exhibit for her to meet the penguin named after her as well as the rest of the penguins in the exhibit.
For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 plants. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and has the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo is a non-profit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is open year-round, seven days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Christmas day, and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, log on to http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.