Chautauqua County Humane Society recently received some very special gifts from Ring Elementary School students and staff - a donation of $684.41 and numerous items for their "Wish List" - collected as part of an all-school fundraiser to benefit the CCHS "Pennies for Paws" campaign.
CCHS was chosen for their community service project because the school believes in the great work that the organization does for the community and, students love animals. Before beginning grade level live animal science units, teachers remind students that animals need to be treated with special care, and that they should try to help those who cannot help themselves. The CCHS fundraiser was a perfect fit.
"It is important to help out the Humane Society because the animals can't help themselves. We need to work hard to give them food and toys," said Cora Blodien, Ring School fourth-grader.
Ring Elementary School students show the many monetary and “wish list” donations collected during the all-school “Pennies for Paws” fundraiser.
It is a tradition at Ring School to donate to local organizations. The staff feels it is important to teach students that sometimes they have to give back without getting something in return. There were no prizes for the classroom or the grade level that collects the most. Almost everyone makes a contribution, no matter how small the amount. Ring first-grade students in Kim Ognibene's class created posters to hang around the school as a persuasive writing assignment, and the fourth-grade students from Stephanie Sardi's class collected the "Pennies 4 Paws" containers and the other items that were donated.
"It's good to learn to give back now when we are still kids so that when we are adults we will keep giving back to our community. And kids can really help when they want to," said Drew Carlson, Ring Elementary School fourth-grader.
In addition to the monetary donations, Ring School provided "wish" items including: blankets, store-bought and handmade toys, collars, paper towels, dog and cat food, office items, bottles of sanitizer, dog shampoo, jars of peanut butter and more.
Edwin Rodriguez Jr., CCHS communication coordinator, also provided teachers with a PowerPoint presentation that included a virtual tour of the Humane Society's facility, which was shown in all classrooms.
"Seeing the art projects lining the halls was incredible. I could really see the love and value that even young people share for our shelter and what we do here," said Rodriguez. "Exposing children to charitable values and teaching them how to help others is very important. Children learn through example and we build better relationships with them and with the world around us each time we give back. Donations such as this, impact our rehabilitation programs here at CCHS. Simply put, the more money we raise, the better we can get at what we do and the more animals we will be able to save."