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The Gorilla Hero of the Fourth Grade




While some fourth graders are passionate about sports and others may be obsessed with video games, or music, or puppies and kittens, it is rare to find one championing animals living thousands of miles away in the mountains of central Africa.

That rare fourth grader is Addy Barrett of Germantown. She is a Gorilla Hero who has dedicated hundreds of hours to help raise funds and awareness about the plight of the Mountain Gorilla.

Addy, with a bit of help of her mother, Sarah Barrett, and a bunch of friends and family has raised more than $1,000 through bake sales, lemonade stands and selling “Gorilla Heroes” tee shirts. All funds raised go to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.


“I have always admired gorillas because I think it’s cool how much DNA we humans share with them,” said the Addy, the fourth grader at Fox Chapel Elementary School. “Ever since first grade, when I read a book about gorillas I have been interested in them. They are smart, intelligent, and get along with each other easily. It made me sad that they are endangered. I wanted to help them.”

According to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the population of mountain gorillas is critically small — only 880 individuals remain, making them among the most-endangered mammals on the planet. The DFGF’s works to protect this species from poachers and loss of habitat due to deforestation — and Addy Barrett of Germantown has become a Gorilla Hero.

According to mother Sarah, it started with Addy making p