‘Abbott Elementary’ 5th grade class gets surprise trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Abbott Elementary is truly a celebration of teachers. That’s why creator Quinta Brunson is taking money from the hit series’ marketing budget and giving it directly to educators to spend on their classrooms. It’s all part of their Teacher Spotlight program.

That year they chose Linda Graham’s 5th grade class at Dunbar Elementary in North Philadelphia.

Graham spends her $1,000 stipend on science projects and other things the kids have asked for, like “nice handkerchiefs with lotion.”

When I visited their classroom, the kids told me that they would like to take a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo, just like they did on an episode of Abbott Elementary.

To keep Mrs Graham on budget, 6abc teamed up with the Philadelphia Zoo to surprise the entire 5th graders in Dunbar with a trip on Thursday.

“With the pandemic, they’ve either been stuck at home for the last few years, or last year we had a lot of regulations,” says Graham. “They still had to stay in the building. It just feels great to be outside and let them experience life through their hands.”

The Philadelphia Zoo even threw in bus service to pick up the kids and take them to their day of fun and learning.

“They loved the bus ride,” Graham said. “Even that excitement shows how much they need to get out of the building and really enjoy life.”

Some of the children hadn’t gone on a field trip since kindergarten.

“With the pandemic, they had nowhere to go and the cost of that travel has gotten so high,” said 5th grade teacher Erica Johnson.

The children were equally enthusiastic and curious.

“I like being here with my friends because it’s super fun and we can talk about different animals and ask each other questions about them,” said Jeremiah Richardson, a fifth grader in Dunbar. “Then when we come back to class and work, we can talk about what we saw.”

The Philadelphia Zoo is making this free opportunity available to the Philadelphia School District as part of its Community Access Program.

“That’s why the zoo exists,” said Dani Hogan, director of Mission Integration at the Philadelphia Zoo. “Seeing a tiger right in front of your eyes is so much more amazing than seeing one through a computer screen. We think experience should be almost a requirement for every student going into the Philadelphia School District.”

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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-zoo-abbott-elementary-classroom-dunbar-surprise-field-trip/12413692/ ‘Abbott Elementary’ 5th grade class gets surprise trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

Alley Einstein

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