LSPS students, staff support Australian baby kangaroos

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
LSPS students, staff support Australian baby kangaroos
Some LSPS kindergarten students with a lemonade sign on Friday, Jan. 17. From left, Luca MacDonnell, Chloe Desaulniers, Vicky Eveleigh, Charlotte Paquette and Karson Bouvier. Submitted photo.

LONG SAULT, Ontario – Kindergarten students of Longue Sault Public School (LSPS) held a lemonade stand fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 17 in support of baby kangaroos impacted by the wildfires in Australia.

Teacher Alison Eamon explained that while the students were recently learning about geography, specifically The Bahamas, one student accidentally mistook the Caribbean country for Australia. This mistake initiated a conversation about Australia, the current wildfires that are destroying homes and habitats across the country, and all the animals that are in need of rescue and support.

The students quickly decided that they wanted to help the animals of Australia.

“It was their idea,” Eamon said proudly.

Eamon’s class, supported by Early Childhood Educator Dara Daye, decided to set up a good, old-fashioned lemonade stand to raise funds. Some students even wanted to donate their money earned from popcorn sales throughout the school year, which is already set to support the purchase of a new projector.

The sweet beverage sales earned the class $215.15 which will be given to LSPS employee Karen Harquail who has already taken the initiative to create wildlife pouches.

“I started making kangaroo pouches independently,” said Harquail, who was informed about the project through the Canadian Animal Rescue Craft Guild. Locally based in Martintown, the Guild is reportedly working directly with Air Canada, which intends to promptly deliver supplies to rescue operations in Australia.

Harquail started her work about one week ago and has already completed 10 pouches, along with 40 liners, and is also looking into creating pouches for bats. One pouch requires four liners.

“I’ve been sewing for years but I haven’t done anything like this. I thought it would be a good idea,” said Harquail, expressing how she wanted to help the animals in any way, as their current situation is very unfortunate.

With $215.15, Harquail will be able to buy 36 meters of fabric at Giroux Sewing Centre as the Centre is selling fabric at a discounted rate for anyone who is sewing for this initiative.

Marsupial animals like kangaroos carry their young in pouches as it is essentially a life-support system for them, equivalent to placental mammal fetuses. Therefore, the need for baby kangaroo pouches is paramount for their survival.

To see more photos of students enjoying their philanthropy and lemonade, as well as a video showing kangaroos in the same kind of pouches Harquail is making, visit Lounge Sault Public’s Facebook page here.

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