|Seventh-graders ‘adopt’ orphaned, sick animals|
Seventh-grade science classes at Benjamin Franklin Middle School recently sponsored 20 dogs and 20 cats housed at the Franklin County Humane Society. The students collected over $3,500 worth of pet supplies and gift cards for animals in need.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Animals at the Franklin County Humane Society will enjoy a happier holiday, thanks to the kindness of students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School.
Over the span of only a few weeks, seventh-grade science students were able to collect over $3,500 in pet supplies and gift cards for orphaned, abandoned, injured or sick animals.
"I am a volunteer at the Humane Society, and I saw a posting on their Facebook page asking for sponsors for dogs and cats," said Melissa Talley, a seventh-grade science teacher.
Talley thought it would be a great project for her classes. With the approval of Principal Brenda Muse, the project was well on its way.
Talley challenged the other science classes to participate to see which class could collect the most items.
"Each science class sponsored one dog and one cat," said Talley. "The students got together and picked the dog and cat they wanted to sponsor."
There are five seventh-grade science teachers at BFMS, each teaching four separate classes. So the Humane Society now has sponsors for 20 dogs and 20 cats, Talley said.
"I am so proud of my kids," Talley said. "They picked animals that would have a hard time getting adopted or were sick or injured. They picked the underdogs who were at a disadvantage."
Students spent three weeks collecting cat and dog food, toys, kitty litter, hand sanitizer, blankets and gift cards.
"Several students went above and beyond," said Talley. "There was one who worked over the Thanksgiving break. She earned $183 and gave it all to the cause. Another student decided to have her mother make pies and sell them, with half the proceeds going towards the animals. She called her project 'Pies for Paws'."
When the eighth-graders heard about the project, the animal lovers pitched in to help.
"We had some donations from eighth-graders who gave their gifts to their science teacher from last year," said Talley.
After sorting, packing and preparing the boxes for delivery, the students ended up with over $3,000 in pet items and about $500 in cash and gift cards.
"We delivered an entire truck load and three SUV loads to the Humane Society," Talley said. "They (workers at the Humane Society) were blown away and very impressed by what we were able to do."
Talley said the cash was given to the Humane Society to contribute towards vet bills for the sick or injured animals.
The highest collecting class from each team will have a joint pizza party to celebrate their achievement.
The Student Council Association (SCA) is considering the project again in the spring. They would also like to include sixth and eighth-graders in next year's project.
"It was really touching," said Talley. "Students and parents alike were all invested. We had a very positive response."