Queens First-Graders Nab PETA Award for Elephant-Care Walk-a-Thon

Compassionate Students Recognized for 'Adopting' Elephant at Tennessee Sanctuary, Raising Funds for Her Care

For Immediate Release:
January 30, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Queens, N.Y. – A Hero to Animals Award is on its way from TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—to the first-graders at The Magnet School of Global Studies & Leadership in Queens for “adopting” an elephant named Minnie at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee rather than fundraising for a local zoo. The kind kids also held a walk-a-thon—in which students, teachers, and community members participated—to raise funds for her care and went on a virtual tour of the sanctuary, during which they learned about her past, when she was forced to perform in circuses, and about actions that they can take to help elephants exploited and abused in captivity.

“TeachKind is recognizing these mighty first-graders—and their teachers—for setting a compassionate example by supporting a reputable sanctuary,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “These heroic young elephant allies are leading their generation in making the world a kinder place.”

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that while elephants in the wild travel as far as 30 miles a day in close-knit family herds, those held captive by circuses, fairs, or roadside zoos may be confined to tiny enclosures in near-isolation, which often leads to arthritis and psychological distress.

TeachKind is also sending Resource Specialist Jessica Fileti and first-grade teacher Janice McIntyre Compassionate Teacher Awards for creating this project that encourages students to explore real-world problems through project-based learning.

For more information on ways that young people can help animals, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind