Kiss the Pig Update

Today is day seven of our Kiss the Pig competition, which means that only two days remain to vote for which Johnson teacher you would like to see Kiss the Pig on Friday! The competition has been fierce, with the majority of votes going toward our biggest rivals, Ms. Croce and Mrs. Rickabaugh. These two are battling it out for a worthy cause – every dollar that we raise goes towards buying new books for the Johnson library.

Here are the standings so far, as calculated by Ms. Rickabaugh’s 4th grade class:

First place: Mrs. Rickabaugh with $167.10

Second place: Ms. Croce with $108.60

Third place: Ms. Branson with $16.49

Fourth place: Ms. Messham with $13.74

Fifth place: Mr. Stern with $10.95

 It’s not too late to make a donation in YOUR favorite teacher’s jar – donations will be accepted through Thursday, March 27.

We have had so much fun manning the table in the lobby, a huge spot for students, parents, visitors, and campaigners in the mornings and afternoons, when it’s open. On most days, the donation table is run by fourth grade safety patrol members, who watch over the jars as donations are accepted, answering questions and keeping control of the crowd. Some days, Mrs. Rickabaugh and myself take turns or run the table together – although we try to keep that to a minimum, since Mrs. Rickabaugh is known to do some undercover campaigning 😉

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Last Thursday (which happened to be sunglasses day – can you tell?), I took the show on the road to visit pre-school students so that they could have a math lesson involving money and donations. This provided a low-pressure, patient environment for them to have some fun and really enjoy!

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“Campaign” posters have slowly been taking over the Johnson hallways, with catchy slogans, cartoon pigs, and puckering lips all over the place! It seems like every day I see a new hilarious poster. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that some of these posters weren’t made by students…

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The last pictures that I have to share with you are extra special. Last week, I told you a little bit about the challenge of finding a pig that could come to see us in person at Johnson. In total, Johnson staff and I contacted about fifteen local farms and businesses asking for help with our fundraiser. Many had pigs that were staying someplace warm for the winter, pigs that were too big or too small, or pigs that were too sensitive to be around too many people. Farmers and animal caretakers around Charlottesville are so caring and passionate about their animals that I started to wonder if our goal was impossible! But then, I had the great luck of finding Half Pint Hill, a family-run farm in Catlett, Virginia. The people at HalfPint Hill have been so friendly and easy to work with – they volunteered to come out and see us, and to bring TWO of their pigs for our students to meet! Our visitors on Friday will be Miniature Potbellied Piglets, just old enough to be away from their mother. Here is a photo that Half Pint Hill posted to their Facebook page last week. Two of these little girls will be headed to Charlottesville on Friday!

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I have been working with students all week on appropriate quiet celebrations like silent clapping and whisper cheers. It is our responsibility to make our guests – both the humans and the piggies – feel safe, welcome, and comfortable. Please remind your students the importance of quiet celebrations during our Kiss the Pig results assembly on Friday afternoon.

Finally, I’d like to share with you the sweet post that Half Pint Hill shared on their Facebook page last week, after agreeing to come and help us with our fundraiser. Check out that message – they’re excited to see us too! It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Half Pint Hill, and their friendly and caring attitude has eased a lot of my pig-related worries! I can’t wait to meet these two little gals and their generous caregivers on Friday afternoon at 2 PM.
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Oink, oink… see you Friday! I can’t wait!

– Miss Messham

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