The administration at Fair Oaks Elementary in Pleasant Hill, CA was looking for a way to afford a field trip to the Oakland Zoo for its two kindergarten classes in May. This zoo trip is an annual event for the kindergarten class at Fair Oaks. This year would have marked their 30th outing, but because the zoo had recently raised group rates by $3 per person earlier this year, it looked as though this long standing tradition may not be possible.
When school’s kindergarten teachers Julie Posey and Tom Abbott found out that Mike’s Auto Body would be able to help make the trip possible, they were pleasantly surprised.
One of the school’s administrative staff members, Jeanette Maldonado, is married to the Location Manager at Mike’s Auto Body in Vallejo. “Jeanette told us that her husband Gary mentioned their dilemma to the owners of Mikes Auto Body, the Rose family. Gary suggested we write a letter telling them about our needs” Abbott said. “The Rose’s responded quickly to our request and told us that they would pay for all the kids and chaperones to make the zoo trip possible.”
On May 8th, approximately 55 kindergartners and 14 parents from Fair Oaks Elementary were able to visit the Oakland Zoo for a day of educational fun. Posey was “energized by the kind gesture which made the event even more special” she said.
“Mike’s is a great organization. By getting back to us promptly, it allowed us to make the plans and proceed. We told everyone that the field trip was back on and everyone was obviously excited.”
As an added bonus, every student received a little gift package, also courtesy of Mike’s Auto Body which included a box of zoo animal crackers, a water, and some temporary tattoos of zoo animals.
The kindergartners loved their day at the zoo, and were able to see everything while they were there. Abbott explained. “The children especially loved watching the otters swimming around and the alligators sunning themselves on logs. They were able to pet baby goats at the petting zoo and a 200-lb. tortoise came out of his den and walked around. They also got to see a wide range of amphibians up close. The kids enjoyed watching the tigers, lions, camels, elephants, zebras and even got to see the giraffes at feeding time.”
A few days following the field trip, the students went back to their classrooms to write three sentences about the day, complete with drawings of their favorite animals. The marketing team at Mike’s Auto Body helped to coordinate the donation and made sure that the people at Mike’s were able to see the touching thank you notes created by the students.
The donation corresponded perfectly with a theme that the school continually stresses with its students, Abbott said. “We have a peacemaker theme here and we always stress to be kind to others, so this generous donation provided a wonderful life lesson for the children.”