WINDSOR — In celebration of Read Across America Day on March 2, fourth-grade Windsor School teacher Kayla Coitrone and her class hosted a Zoom visit from Elephant Aid International’s CEO and Founder Carol Buckley. 

Carol Buckley Contributed photo

Buckley, an internationally-recognized authority in the retirement, rehabilitation and welfare of captive-held elephants, read the students her book, “Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog who Became Best Friends.” The reading was followed up by a lively question-and-answer period.

Buckley’s visit to the classroom was part of EAI’s new Elephant Ambassador Program, according to a news release from Helen Beesley, Elephant Aid International, Education Committee chairwoman.

Bryce St. Onge Contributed photo

Bryce St. Onge, one of Coitrone’s pupils, is the first student in the country to apply for the honor. Part of the process is to bring awareness to the welfare of captive-held elephants and to conduct a project.

St. Onge has talked to his principal and his school will soon hold a Hat Day, during which students will pay to wear hats. The money will be donated to EAI’s Help Nepal Elephants Campaign, which provides supplemental food and medical supplies to needy elephants. 

In Nepal, Buckley will train mahouts on the care of elephants that work in Chitwan National Park.

Any teacher or student seeking more information about the Elephant Ambassador Program or scheduling a Zoom meeting with Buckley can email [email protected].

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