Students at Summit Pointe Elementary were so inspired by one of this year’s Missouri Association of School Librarians Mark Twain Award nominees, they decided help make a difference for animals in their community. The book was “Webster” by Ellen Emerson White, a story about a cynical shelter dog learning to be part of a family. This tale inspired a Summit Pointe fourth- grade class to do what they could for shelter animals in our own community.
According to student Ashtynn Root, the author’s message at the end of the story pointed out that there were shelters like the one in the story all over the United States that could use support. Ashtynn and her classmates wanted to know what they could do to help animals like those in the story. With the help of their teacher, Brenda Hall, the class identified Wayside Waifs as an organization doing the same kind of work for animals.
During the student-driven service project, students worked with partners to create flyers to hand out to friends, families and neighbors. The handouts were created by students using Google Draw and included a Wayside Waifs Wish List on the back of the flyers.
The fourth-graders collected kennels, paper towels, leashes, dog food, cat food, cat toys and cat treats–enough to fill a sports utility vehicle. One student’s grandparent even made small blankets for the shelter animals. In addition, the students collected $86 in cash to donate to Wayside Waifs.