First grade fundraiser supports animals in Australia |

First grade fundraiser supports animals in Australia

by Amy Roby

For students in Nancy McCullough’s first grade classroom at Scarselli Elementary School, altruism comes as easily as adding 2+2.

During a morning classroom meeting after Christmas break, a student shared concerns about the devastating wildfires in Australia. This initiated a spirited discussion about the possibility of a class service project.

“My students could not talk about anything else,” said McCullough. “It seemed they had all seen pictures of animals (that had been hurt in the fires) being helped by people, so I asked them what they thought we could do.”

Students brainstormed ideas and decided to raise money to help cover the costs of animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. The question became how to do so.

McCullough recalled a popular item from her youth: clip-on koala bears that one could attach to a lapel, backpack, or pencil. An internet search ensued, and the class was successful in locating the clip-on bears for a school-wide fundraiser.

To generate enthusiasm and interest for the event, the first graders made posters to display throughout the school and gave a presentation explaining the reason behind the sale to each class. The sale was held over lunchtime and was a huge success, selling 540 koalas in a day and a half and earning over $600.

SES Principal Susan McNeall was so inspired by the industrious ingenuity of the first graders and the generosity of the entire SES student body that she ordered 360 additional clip-on koalas. The bears arrived a week ago and as of this writing, there were just 40 left to sell.

In addition to revenue generated from the sale, donations from individuals and families in the community helped bolster fundraising totals.

“We will send approximately $800 to Australia to help the animals,” said McCullough. “My students are so happy to have raised so much money and one child said, ‘We are helping the animals and we made all the kids at school happy, too!’”

Tournament at Carson Valley Golf Course

CVGC invites golfers to play a round with their favorite partner at their annual “Love, Love Me Not” tournament this Saturday.

$40 covers the game, cart, prize find, and Sweetheart Soup. Teams of two will get to play a different format at each hole.

Sign up online at or by calling 775-265-3181. CVGC is located at 1027 Riverview Drive in the Gardnerville Ranchos.