Harper the chimp flips through one of the books readers donated to Chimp Haven. ( Amy Fultz/Chimp Haven)

We’ve always known that KidsPost readers are smart, talented and terrific. But we’re adding generous and kindhearted to that after we learned how readers responded to two items that appeared in KidsPost recently.

On December 1, KidsPost published a short item about Chimp Haven, a retirement home for research chimpanzees in Louisiana. We wrote that the humans who run Chimp Haven said the animals really loved books and told KidsPost readers how they could send no-longer-needed books to the animals.

Chimp Haven’s Karen Allen recently reported to us that the home received almost 400 books this holiday season, most of them from kids in the Washington area. The individual animals seemed to love the books, animal scientist Amy Fultz reported, saying “Suzie enjoyed thumbing through a Dora book while Trevor was more interested in Batman. Merv was interested in the books that had photos of babies or the Sesame Street characters while Tracy, our youngest, looked at a book titled ‘Brainy Animal Babies.’ ”

The girls from left to right in the photo are: Elena Ugarte, Clare Cawley, Lana Newman, Katie Cannon, Anna Gefke, Claire Guion, Lily Parker, and Lydia Wang.  Members of the troop absent from the photo are Beatrice McDermott, Jessica Lee, Catherine Gardiner, and Silvana Fragano. (Photo by Johleen Cannon)

On November 6, KidsPost wrote a story about several contests that kids could enter. One of them, sponsored by Lindsey Olives, was a challenge to collect the most food to be donated to a food pantry or homeless shelter.

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 6002 from Bethesda collected 2,420 pounds of food and donated it to the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg. That earned them second place in the national contest.

So how do 12 girls collect more than 200 pounds of food each in just about three weeks?

“Our troop really likes doing food drives,” said Katie Cannon, 11. She explained that in addition to collecting cans in their neighborhoods, the girls also had bake sales and then took the money raised from the sale to buy food at the grocery store. Once at the store, the girls were careful shoppers.

“We tried to find heavy items, and food items that were not as expensive. We looked at the price per pound.”

Kids with big hearts and big brains. That sounds like our typical KidsPost readers. Thanks to everyone who sent books to the chimps. Congratulations to Troop 6002 and to every child who tries to make the world a better place.

Tracy Grant