Salisbury School class is four-time ‘Just Zoo It!’ winner

Salisbury School class photo

Students in Stephanie Krisulevicz’s fifth-grade class had talked about their love for animals, about the Salisbury Zoo and importance of altruism.

So, when the fifth annual Just Zoo It! fund-raiser began, they took seriously their mission to collect coins to assist with zoo projects. Their piles of silver and copper totaled $963.25, more than any class in participating schools in four counties.

Last week, the Salisbury School students were excited to learn their class won, after the zoo’s prize patrol rushed into their classroom, tossed confetti and congratulated them.

“I am so proud of them. Some of them talked about emptying their piggy banks, or asking their moms and dads to make donations,” said Krisulevicz, whose class has been No. 1 four times.

As their reward, classmates will be allowed inside the Andean bear exhibit, where they will learn how zookeepers take care of Chaska, the female bear, and her baby, Alba. They will find out what the bears eat, how caretakers make sure they are healthy and how they first learned that Chaska was pregnant last year.

Participating students filled Just Zoo It! containers to aid the Delmarva Zoological Society, the non-profit that raises money for capital improvement projects at the zoo.

They started collecting last fall. Nearly $150,000 has been raised since the fund-raiser started.

The class that raises the most in each county is rewarded with a special VIP trip to the zoo in the spring to meet zookeepers and learn about the collection of animals. Students enjoy a pizza party with cupcakes. Each takes home a T-shirt and stuffed animal.

“We are so appreciative of every student who helped collect coins for the Salisbury Zoo,” Ralph Piland, zoo director, stated in a news release.

“We love that students are learning how to give back to their community and we hope they know that they are really helping to make a difference in their community. The Salisbury Zoo relies on community support and the Just Zoo It! program allows students to take a role in that,” he said.

All money is used for Renew the Zoo projects such as the wallaby exhibit, which was part of the Discover Australia project.

Just Zoo It! cans were donated by Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Salisbury. The staff at Lower Shore Enterprises helped wrap them with labels and warehouse space was donated by Vernon Powell Shoes.

Coins were counted by employees at First Shore Federal.

“Seeing how much students all over the Delmarva Peninsula love the Zoo helps motivate us to work even harder to make sure we have an outstanding Zoo in our community,” said Ashley Bosche, board chairwoman of the Delmarva Zoological Society.

“We know how special the zoo is and it’s gratifying to see it reflected in the excitement every year of these students who want to do something to give back,” she said.

More winners will be announced in the next two weeks.


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