Second graders adopt zoo eagle to honor military

Christina Rosean and her second-grade class at Ralph Williams Elementary School display a certificate they received from the Brevard Zoo's Adopt an Animal program.

Second-grade teacher Christina Rosean wanted to bring nature into the classroom. She was empathetic that her students could not attend field trips during the pandemic as they had in previous years.

So, she looked into Brevard Zoo’s Adopt an Animal program.

The class had several animals from which to choose. They selected the American eagle.

“The kids are excited about adopting an eagle,” said Rosean, who has been teaching second grade at the school for the past three years. “They were disappointed that the eagle cannot live in the classroom.”

She also wanted to show appreciation for military veterans.

“Half of the class is from military families, either a brother, sister, parent or close cousin,” Rosean said. “We wanted to represent and show how proud we are of the military for how they protect us every day. Military life is not an easy life.”

Student Deja Jennings, whose great-grandfather served in Vietnam, “picked the name Braveheart (for the eagle) for all of the brave people who have died in war to keep us safe.”

Rosean has been teaching her class about symbolism.

“In reading class, we talked about eagle habitats and spent a lot of time focusing on patriotism,” she said. “We talked about America and the people who keep us safe. We did a project on police, first responders and firefighters.”

Student Levi Beasley, whose father is serving in the Air Force, said: “I’m proud that my dad is a first sergeant now. He’s worked hard for a long time. He went to war three times. I’m safer because he works for the Air Force.”

Student Lilly Belle Gonzalez’s mom served in the Air Force and her dad in

the Navy.

“Everybody that fights for America is pretty nice. They don’t know if they’ll lose their life or not, but they still protect us all even though their family is at home,”

she said.

The contribution for the Brevard Zoo's Adopt an Animal program helps with the daily care of the animal. In return, the class received a certificate of adoption and a plush toy American eagle.