Knights Support Local Wildlife Center

Debbie Wayns of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach holds the donation from Rossmoor Elementary School students’ coin drive.

Rossmoor Elementary School students are making a difference.

In October, students launched a coin donation drive to support wildlife injured in the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. Fifth graders involved in the campus-based Knight Leadership Council came up with the idea as part of the school’s ongoing community service projects, Rossmoor Principal Amy Coltey explained in a recent phone interview.

“At Rossmoor, we’re thrilled to help those in need in our world and in our community and all around us,” Mrs. Coltey said in a recent video for students discussing the effort. Rossmoor’s mascot is a knight and the school is using the values from Knight P.R.I.D.E. to inspire community service projects. The values of the Knight P.R.I.D.E. acronym are: “Positive, Responsible, Integrity, Display Kindness, Earn and give respect.”

“That’s what Knight P.R.I.D.E. is all about. Thinking of others and helping others,” Mrs. Coltey said.

As Knights, Rossmoor students of all grade levels are assigned to one of four houses. Mrs. Coltey described the houses as another “family on campus.” They are similar to the ones popularized by Harry Potter, but Rossmoor’s are inspired by King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. Rossmoor Elementary’s houses are: Percival House, Galahad House, Lancelot House and Gawain House.

For the coin donation drive, each house had a jar where students engaged in a friendly competition to collect as many coins as possible for about two weeks.

And all of that spare change really added up!

Last month, Mrs. Coltey delivered the $878.57 the students raised to the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center.

“Thank you so much. We really appreciate this,” Debbie Wayns, Operations Manager and Board Member at the center told Mrs. Coltey in a video the principal shared with students. Wayns said the nearly $900 would go toward supporting the many animals the center helps year-round, not just the ones impacted by the oil spill. That includes birds, squirrels, raccoons and more. “We have animals here that need food, that need medical care, that need our assistance. This is going to help with that project,” Wayns said.

And the Knights aren’t done helping. Their next community service project is to collect donations for children and teens at Casa Youth Shelter in Los Alamitos. Each classroom is sponsoring one child at the shelter to get them clothing, gift cards and other needed items. Rossmoor students will also write encouraging cards wishing kids a happy holiday season.

“We’re really trying to teach the kids that there are a lot of people out there that need help. It teaches them compassion,” Mrs. Coltey said last week and added, “It really does fill your bucket when you fill someone else’s.”

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