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On Friday, October 16th, students in our class celebrated their hard work organizing and participating in this year's "Food Drive for Orphaned Wildlife" with a class party.

Our friend and Rama Central P.S. neighbour, Laura Gallagher, offered to help us celebrate by bringing several of the non-releasable rescue animals from her company, Speaking of Willdlife, for a classroom visit!  Laura and her associate Krystal Hewitt taught us about five different species of Ontario wildlife, including two that eat the kinds of food we collected during the food drive.

Here are some images from a most remarkable afternoon:

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This cutie is a baby Norway Rat, named Ratagen. She was found in front of someone's garage at a very young age and brought to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Unfortunately she became too habituated to humans and could not be released.

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Meet "Luna," the Saw Whet Owl that appeared in Telus advertisements a few years ago. She was found in someone's backyard, with a wing injury, and taken to a wildlife rehabilation centre for treatment. Unfortunately, Luna's injury left her with a permanent disability that prevented her from flying well enough to survive in the wild.

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This is Hawthorne, a six month old porcupine. He was born in captivity so, in accordance with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) regulations, he could not be released into the wild.

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This is a Bobwhite Quail named Virginia. She was found in a snowbank in Quebec and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Bobwhites are not native to Quebec, and no one knew where Virginia came from, so she was sent to live at Speaking of Wildlife. Bobwhites are critically endangered in Ontario, with only about 100 individuals still living in the wild. Experts believe the ice storms in 1997 decimated the Ontario Bobwhite population and they have been unable to make a comeback.

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Last, but not least, meet "Petunia" the skunk. Petunia was dropped off at a wildlife rehabilitation centre at night. There was very little information left with her. The rehabilitation centre couldn't determine Petunia's point of origin and her friendliness made it apparent that she had been living in someone's house. These two factors made Petunia non-releasable.

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Students contributed an amazing array of snacks for our party:

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... and Mrs. Black had Mariposa Market create this awesome cake for us:

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We want to sincerely thank Laura, Krystal and their wildlife ambassadors for coming to class today!  Their visit MADE our party, and will be fondly remembered by all of us for years to come!!  🙂

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

This year's food drive for orphaned wildlife enabled students at our school to help four local wildlife rehabilitation centres stock up on natural foods for their overwintering patients. This year, the sanctuaries received additional food contributions from students in four other schools, who were inspired by our food drive.

During Week 1, we collected for Procyon Wildife, in Beeton. Prior to their food delivery, our class enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to Skype with the centre's director. She spent 45 minutes giving us a virtual tour of the the nursery and a couple of outdoor enclosures, via Skype on her phone, and answered a myriad of questions from students.

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The day our delivery to Beeton was to take place, we used math to estimate the number of items we had collected for them. This is Beeton's "food order":

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We started by using a kitchen scale and counting to determine the number of acorns in a half kilogram (165). Then we doubled number to estimate how many acorns were in a kilogram (330).

IMG_0561IMG_0562Then we used a bathroom scale to determine how much each box of acorns weighed. This involved weighing a student, with and without a box in his arms, and then subtracting his weight. We also had to convert the weight from pounds to kilograms, and subtract one kilogram to account for the weight of the box itself.

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Here are our calculations for acorns:

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We had four boxes of pine cones that were the same size. To estimate how many pine cones we were shipping altogether, we counted the number of pine cones in one box, and then multiplied by four.

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For apples, we counted how many we could see in the top layer of the box, estimated how many "rows" of apples the box held, and then multiplied to estimate how many apples were in the box.

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The number of maple keys was estimated using the kitchen scale. We determined how many keys were in 50 grams, created similar sized piles, and then used multiplication to glean a number estimate.

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IMG_0581 IMG_0578Here are our estimated totals for Procyon Wildlife's food delivery:

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Students in our class transported the food to Mrs. Black's car and loaded it for her.

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The volunteers that run the wildlife rehabilitation centre in Beeton were thrilled to receive the food we had collected for their overwintering animals.

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After we dropped our food off in Beeton, a school in Alliston topped up Procyon Wildlife with additional food for the winter.  🙂

During Week 2 of the food drive, students collected, tallied and loaded food for Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge. Mrs. Black picked up a big sack of acorns from a school in Orillia, which brought our estimated totals for this delivery to: 9,000 acorns, 1,000 pine cones and 400 apples.

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She then delivered everything to the sanctuary, which is in Pefferlaw.

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During Week 3 of our food drive, we collected for Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary in Minden. Their delivery included approximately 2,300 acorns, 2,000 pine cones and 700 apples, plus a small box of ash keys, a small box of chestnuts and a box of sumac.

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During the fourth week of our food drive, we accepted donations for Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau. We received help from a family and two schools in Barrie. They sent us the following food items, for Aspen Valley:

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We merged the food from Barrie with the food we collected. In total, Aspen Valley received approximately 3,500 acorns, 4,000 pine cones and 1,000 apples.

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Aspen-DeliveryThe sanctuaries sent us a few pictures of animals in their care enjoying the fruits of our labour:

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SOH-squirrels

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The wildlife food drive continues to grow in size and popularity. We started out with one school (ours) contributing food to two wildlife sanctuaries. In year three, we had students in five schools supporting the work of four wildlife sanctuaries! A sincere thank you goes out to everyone who helped with this year's food drive. We'll see you again next year!

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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