Students of Crabbe Elementary have been working to raise money for the Ashland Animal Rescue Fund, an organization that rescues animals from shelters and promotes adoption.
Money was collected in jars decorated with pictures of a dog named Lucy before and after she was adopted. More than $800 was raised by the students and their parents and teachers making contributions to Pennies for Pups.
To publicize their program, students made a video in which they explained why people should adopt pets from AARF.
“Saving one dog won’t change the world, but surely the world will change for that one dog,” a student in the video said.
Some students, such as first-grader Adrianna Riggs, gave personal stories about the pets they adopted from AARF. Riggs said she got Beethoven, a Jack Russell terrier mix, so he could get shots for parvo, but she really started to like him and her family adopted him as their new dog.
“AARF doesn’t kill any animals,” Riggs said. “It helps them and keeps them until they’re adopted.”
The video, which can be seen on YouTube, features happy pet owners and the animals they have adopted through AARF.
The school started raising money for AARF because first-grade teacher Carisa Bare is an AARF volunteer and she knows the benefits children derive from contact with animals.
“Studies show reading with dogs makes them comfortable and more relaxed,” Bare said. “Animals are great for kids.”
A little competition is good for fundraising, too, and Bare said the drive to win was at work during Pennies for Pups.
“We had a real penny war going on,” she said, noting children could see which class was in the lead by looking at the chart she maintained and figured out how much more they needed to take the lead.
Riggs said she knew that it was for a great cause, but she liked the idea of a pizza party and dessert for the winning class because it would “entice” the other students to raise money.
“It’s heartwarming to see the kids do what they’re doing,” Bare said. ”Some kids have even said they would like to volunteer for AARF or adopt a pet.”
MORGAN CANTY, a senior at Paul G. Blazer High School, worked as a co-op for The Independent.