2017: The Pride of Madison Elementary

by Christian Carvajal for OLY ARTS

According to the Daily Mail, there were over 200,000 wild lions in Africa three decades ago. Now there are a tenth of that number, with only five viable populations remaining on the vast continent. That’s why Madison Elementary is coming to the rescue. “Lion cubs are our mascot,” says the Madison Parent Teacher Organization’s Rachel McKaughan, “so we wanted to show our ‘pride.’” Students and faculty have adopted the Procession’s papier-mâché lion puppet, which they’ll be given the honor of naming after a student contest. They’re also crafting masks from paper plates as well as musical walking sticks and cardboard flying puppets to represent African birds. Student art in support of the Procession will be displayed at the school talent show, which happens to be the same week as the Procession.

The pride of Madison lions relies on the alpha leadership of support specialist Leslie Gowell and principal Domenico Spatola Knoll. McKaughan says Madison Elementary, located downtown on Legion Way near the parade route, feels a special kinship with the Procession of the Species. “We have a passion for the arts,” she says, and for “creativity, the natural world and being involved in Olympia’s local scene.”

What: Madison Elementary School

Where: Procession of the Species,
from Jefferson St. and Legion Way to Water St. and Capitol Way, Olympia

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29

How much: free

Learn more: 360-596-6300 | Madison Elementary

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