Omaha zoo helps students celebrate return to in-person assembly

Students at Harvey Oaks Elementary saw a return to normalcy with a visit from the Henry Doorly Zoo
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 4:58 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s been two years since Harvey Oaks Elementary students could walk into their gym for an in-person assembly.

Naturally, there was tons of excitement Wednesday, and Principal Erin Gonzalez said the kids would be getting an extra bonus.

“We’ve been reading ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ as a school community for the last two weeks, and we are celebrating by bringing the zoo in,” she said.

Gonzalez, said the entire school community — including parents, kids, and faculty — have been working really hard on the “One Book, One School” event, collectively reading the fictional book, which tells the story of a colorful family with 10 penguins that become a circus act.

“It’s pretty awesome. The kids have enjoyed reading that with their families at home,” she said.

At Wednesday’s event, the crossroads of reading and learning about animals came alive right before their eyes when two team members from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium put on an interactive presentation about penguins and other zoo animals as a reward.

The students had a chance to test their knowledge of the arctic birds, watch fun videos, mimic penguin movements, and enjoy applied learning while meeting a blue-tongue skink, from the reptile family.

Gonzalez said it was a great opportunity for the children to mix literacy, wildlife education, and fun.

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