Students at Cherry Hill Primary recently donated to the Fayette Regional Humane Society as part of a service learning project that focused on helping the nonprofit shelter.
Through this community service project these elementary students used leadership and organizational skills to think about community needs and brainstormed ways to help this agency. Students then took an active role in real world applications and problem solving.
“I think it empowered them because it was their idea,” said second grade teacher Erica Halliday.
Halliday’s class made dog and cat toys for the humane society. Shannon Drake’s second grade class made no-sew blankets for the animal shelter.
“The kids all said it benefited the animals by giving them something soft and warm to lay on to keep them comfortable until they found a home,” said Drake.
Susan Eckles’ kindergarten class also donated dog bones, blankets, toys and other food items to the Fayette Humane Society.
“They (the humane society) were very appreciative because of the amount of animals they try to help. They don’t have a lot of funds for this,” Eckles said. “It taught our kids how to give back to others and not to expect anything else in return.”
Fayette Humane Society Agent, Outreach and Education Director Brad Adams visited Cherry Hill Primary to accept the donations.
“We are nonprofit. We survive on donations,” said Adams. “When we receive donations from the general public, it is so very important. To see that from children is great.”
Adams also spoke to each class about pet care and how to be a responsible pet owner.
“Educating people and families about pets and care and the importance of pet ownership is part of the role of a humane agent,” Adams said.
During his visit to the elementary school, Adams spoke about his job and what the Fayette Humane Society does in the community. He also brought a kitten named Joe to interact with the students. He showed them how to provide proper care for animals and pets. In the process, “Some kids learned their families are not taking care of their animals in the correct way,” Drake said.
The community can come to the Fayette Humane Society to see how all these things come together to help animals and people.
“We welcome donations and volunteers,” Adams said. “People can come in for socialization for the animals. Our agents are so very busy that any additional time animals can spend with people for socialization is helpful.”
The service learning projects are part of a school-wide program at Cherry Hill Primary. Each class created its own project for the community as part of the Lions’ Quest curriculum, which is taught at the elementary school. This program teaches social and emotional learning, character development, drug and bullying prevention as well as service learning. Through weekly lessons, this program promotes positive student behaviors that contribute to greater academic success.