Hundreds of Local Students Raise Money to Protect Environment

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Panama City- Two local elementary schools worked together to give back to the community and help the environment.
In what has become an annual tradition, Southport and Lynn Haven Elementary 4th and 5th graders spent Friday morning on Bailey Bridge.
They staged the 10th "Wings Across the Bridge" event to raise money for a pair of American bald eagles.
The schools have been watching the eagles on a web camera.
"The eggs have hatched and now we're watching three eaglets live on the nest cam," said Southport music teacher, Rhonda Hawley.
The schools' choirs kicked off the event.
Then, Olaha, the eagle, led the group of students across the Bailey Bridge to Southport's waiting mascot.
They dropped all of their donations into the nest, more than two-thousand dollars.
"Today is about uniting two schools, two communities, in a service-learning project that teaches the children about conservation protection and preserving and protecting wildlife," said Hawley.
Students said they're excited to help out.
"It's a really happy, it's like a happy feeling inside because you get to save the eagles and so they have a better home," said one student.
If there is any money left over, sponsors said it will go to local environmental groups.
A special guest was also there with the students on Friday morning.
Florida State football player, Jacob Stanley, walked alongside the kids.
He's been reading to Southport students for the past three years, and just happened to be reading to a class that morning.
So he joined the event.
Stanley is a senior walk-on, who plays center and both guard positions on the offensive line.


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