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Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is located near Montreal, Quebec. The Fauna Foundation is currently home to a dozen middle-aged to elderly chimpanzees. About half of the chimps were rescued from a medical research lab. in New York State. Several others spent decades on display in Canadian zoos. Two, who are fluent in American Sign Language, were part of a cross-species language study at a university in Washington State.


Each year, the sanctuary invites the public to help brighten the lives of the chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Our Grade 4/5 class jumped at the opportunity to help out!  Students worked in pairs to decorate a beautiful stocking for each of the chimps and monkeys living at the sanctuary:

We also made stockings and a card for the sanctuary's founders and the chimps' main caregivers:

Mrs. Black researched the types of "enrichment items" the sanctuary's chimpanzees enjoy and then purchased some Christmas colouring books and DVD's, crayons, small stuffed animals, Santa hats, beads and musical instruments to send to the sanctuary, as stocking stuffers.

We packed everything in a photocopy paper box and mailed it to the sanctuary:


UPDATE:  Monday, January 8, 2018

Today, the class received an amazing thank you package from The Fauna Foundation!

When Mrs. Black was in high school, she read about the groundbreaking American Sign Language (ASL) study in which Tatu was involved, at Central Washington University. Tatu and her friend Loulis are the two remaining chimps from that study (the other three have passed away).  Tatu learned sign language from humans and has an ASL vocabulary of about 350 signs. For Mrs. Black, the most amazing thing about our thank you gift was that Tatu used sign language to tell her caregivers she had drawn a bird for us!  That picture of Tatu's is most definitely "a keeper!"

This is a photo of Tatu, taken by The Fauna Foundation's official photographer:


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

For the sixth year in a row, my class is engaging in a number of outreach projects that meet Ontario curriculum expectations, while benefiting others in the school, community and beyond. This page will be updated throughout the year, as we complete new projects.

Here is a list of our outreach projects, to date:

  1.  Fifth annual food drive for orphaned wildlife
  2.  Explanatory writing in support of Habitat for Humanity
  3.  Art project to benefit rescued lab. and zoo chimps
  4.  Clothing drive for the less fortunate
  5.  "Market Day" for the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project


Project Details:



During the past five autumns, our school has helped local wildlife rehabilitation centres stock up on natural foods, to sustain their overwintering orphaned patients throughout the winter months.

Our class organized and promoted this year's wildlife food drive, by inviting students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 to contribute acorns, pine cones, maple keys, black walnuts, apples and sumac. This year, we collected three carloads of food, which were delivered to: Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, in Rosseau, Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, in Pefferlaw, and Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden. This project met curriculum  expectations in math, science, literacy and character education.



Habitat-for-Canada-300x211-HunanityDuring the month of October, students in our class authored short explanatory writing pieces as a school project, and then entered them in a national writing contest.

The topic for this writing project was "What Home Means to Me."  For every entry received, builder Genworth Canada donated $10.00 to Habitat for Humanity. Our class raised $250. with their writing!

This is the contest website:



Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is The Fauna Foundation, located near Montreal, Quebec. The sanctuary invited the public to help enrich the lives of their rescued chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Students in our class worked decorated a stocking for each of the chimps and monkeys living at the sanctuary.

This blog post shows the wonderful work the students did for residents at The Fauna Foundation:



clothingdriveiconFor the third year in a row, our class offered to promote and organize our school's winter clothing drive for the less fortunate. We used media literacy skills to advertise the clothing drive and create a drop-off station in the school foyer. When the clothing drive was over, our class sorted and bagged all of the donations, for delivery to a charity in Orillia.



Highway of Heroes Living TributeOur class' charity fund raiser for this school year, was a "Market Day" in support of the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project. Students in our class donated gently-used toys and games, created "stores" from which to sell their goods, and took turns purchasing and selling items from the stores. All monies raised were used to sponsor a tree on the Highway of Heroes. This project met curriculum expectations in media literacy, math and character education.

This is a blog post depicting "Market Day":



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

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