Sunflower first-graders proudly present their donation to feathered friend from Operation Wildlife

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A unique guest visited Sunflower Elementary on a mission. The kestrel falcon’s task: Pick up a donation from Jessica Brown and her first grade class.

Curious students and an oversized check greeted Mr. G and his volunteer chaperone, Roseanne Agderian, on May 18 — five days after their jewelry auction fundraiser to benefit Operation Wildlife had closed. The idea for the economics service-learning project was inspired by the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college- and career-readiness curriculum.

“After the project was over, a special supporter even donated an extra $100 to just support our efforts, causing our donation to be $1,243 after!” Brown wrote in an email.

“These AVID scholars are beyond proud!”

First-graders Penellopy and Cameron had the honor of presenting the donation, and there were group hugs too. Laura Roberson, owner of Muse Clay Designs and business partner in the project, attended the presentation and received a big thank-you embrace from Brown’s students.

First-graders Penellopy and Cameron present a donation to Operation Wildlife volunteer Roseanne Agderian and Mr. G, a kestral falcon.

Photos show Agderian wearing a thick glove and a big smile as she presents Mr. G to Brown’s class. The pair taught the students how their donation would help provide rehab and veterinary services to injured and orphaned wild animals at Operation Wildlife. Mr. G even had a chance to sport his tail feathers.

The kestrel, or Falco sparverius, is the smallest and most widespread falcon in North America, according to the National Audubon Society. “In open country it is commonly seen perched on roadside wires or hovering low over a field on rapidly beating wings, waiting to pounce on a grasshopper.”

Agderian told the class Mr. G is a 17-year-old bird who doesn’t get to travel or visit schools much anymore, so it was a very special day for him.

All the colorful pieces soon will ship or be delivered to donors, and each package will contain a handwritten thank-you message from its creator. Brown noted another special benefit of the project: A few bidders donated their auction win back to the creator’s family.

Read more about the project here and watch a video about it on YouTube.

Contributed Photo Roseanne Agderian and Mr. G
Mr. G
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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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