Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's almost that time!! :)

Dear R.E.A.C.H.ers,

It is almost "Back to School" time!! :) I am getting geared up for the upcoming school year and the official beginning of my students' work with Project R.E.A.C.H.

Wow! It's so hard to believe what has happened in the few weeks between the founding of R.E.A.C.H. on June 20, 2013, and today.

As I have said before and I will say over and over again, THANK YOU. Those two words can not even begin to convey how humbled and deeply moved I am by the amazing support that this initiative has received.

I am thankful that so many people recognize the importance of educating our youth about compassion and our responsibility to animals of all kinds. I am inspired by the countless R.E.A.C.H.ers (of all ages and backgrounds) who give of themselves freely to advocate for animals in need, to share their stories and to be their voices, who choose to volunteer/foster/adopt, and who choose to make a difference in whatever way they can. I am looking forward to all of the wonderful things we will be able to accomplish together. :)

Therefore, moving forward, I am only too happy to share this journey with each and every one of you as we work to make a difference in the lives of people and animals alike through our R.E.A.C.H. The students and I will be managing the blog and Facebook page, and you will see exactly what we are working on through pictures, blog posts, videos, etc. Bear with us, of course, because I'm sure there will be some kinks along the way. I will do my best to troubleshoot as we navigate through Project R.E.A.C.H.'s first year!

Our mission is to


Remember, we will

Feel free to contact us at any time!! :) If you have any comments or questions, we'd love to hear from you. :)

Always remember to:

Jessica aka Mrs. Sears :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Visit to Salem County Humane Society 8/9/13

My husband Josh and I went for a visit to Salem County Humane Society to meet with the President of their Board, Dennis Bratton. We made our way to Game Creek Road, drove off the paved road and down a winding gravel road through the woods. The trees encircled the road, making a leafy green canopy.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a kind volunteer and were welcomed into the cattery, where all kitties under the age of 8 hang out, play, and do the wonderful things that kitties do! :) They were just finishing up their dinners, so some of them were preoccupied! 

Yes, there was much feasting to be had. However, we were relegated to watching and were not offered any crumbs! Once everyone was part of the clean plate club, and everyone's bellies were full, they decided to investigate.

However, Josh and I were quickly admitted into the sanctuary of happy cats, after paying ample fees of petting, chin scratching, and loving! :)

There were so many little faces, peering up at us. Some hid, peering out cautiously.

Others lounged in baskets full of cozy blankets, others rubbed against us, and others still managed to be taller than Josh! Very impressive. :) 

We also visited the kittens and the senior cats, who are housed in their own rooms. :) 
Here are some of the wee kittens:

Here are some of the SUPER seniors we met:

For the month of August, SCHS has waived the adoption fee for all cats and kittens. If you pass a vet check and through the full application process, you will be able to take home a new friend for FREE! :) Of course, a tax-deductible donation of food, money, and other needed supplies are always appreciated, as SCHS runs off of donations.

There are many super lovable kitties just waiting for you. 

Next we met little Charlie a.k.a. "The Manager." Charlie (named after the Phillies' manager) is a little mama who recently delivered a litter of puppies. This sweet, bubbly girl trotted around the rooms, checking to see what the kitties were doing and to make sure that everything was running smoothly. She is VERY friendly and is SO adorable. She loves giving kisses and getting petted! :) Here she is getting ready to give me some love. 

We headed out to the dog runs to meet some new friends. There we met Troy (top two) and Bon Bon (bottom two). Troy was sooooo excited to play frisbee with me. He quickly learned that I am a wimp at throwing frisbees. When he went long for the catch, he was sorely disappointed when I managed to flutter the frisbee a couple of feet from me. He forgave me after some scratches, though. He is such a handsome and playful boy! :) Bon Bon then came out to visit. She was all about sniffing the play area and was elated when we went to play with her. She scrunched down and jumped around, panting happily.

We said hello to all of the pups in their runs. The pups had already finished their dinners and were gearing up to go for walks with some of their favorite volunteers. 

After signing volunteer information and waivers, we went for a walk with Billy and Jesse, two good ole beagle boys. Josh walked Jesse, and I spent some time with Billy. Both pups are so good-natured and sweet. They loved to stop periodically and "smell the roses," or so to speak. They walked well on a leash and seemed to really enjoy stretching their legs and spending some quality time with us. They came from the same home and get along really well. I hope they find their forever homes soon. It would be even better if they could grow old together in the same forever home! :)

We came back and visited with the other pups in their runs. Clockwise from left to right: Bella, a GORGEOUS young pittie who wanted to give us kisses so much; Rascal, a jack russell terrier looking for somebody who enjoys exercise and adventure just like him; Little Buddy, a senior jack russell terrier looking for a special family with a heart of gold, and Raina, a personable girl looking to snuggle!

We also met Miss Mary Mac and Eve (Left to right), two special girls looking for their forever homes. They are so sweet and just want to be loved.

There are many adoptable pets currently in foster homes, as well. There were also other pups who were a bit camera shy. That's ok! I'll get them next time.

We heard the happy news that three kittens and Miss Polka Dottie (one of the dogs we met) were going home. It was wonderful news! I can't wait to see them on the adoption board! :)

While we were at Salem County Humane Society, we were able to meet some of the organization's wonderful volunteers, many of whom also serve as foster parents. Their passion, dedication and the TLC they give to each of the animals is commendable. It is wonderful to see that even though these animals have experienced much sadness, they are loved and tenderly cared for by selfless, extraordinary people who are willing to spend their free time caring for them and helping them find the homes they deserve. It is heartening to know that such amazing people exist. :)

Please check out Salem County Humane Society's webpage:

Petfinder page: 

See their adoptable animals:

I am so proud and honored that my students and I will be working with Salem County Humane Society to help their animals in need.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I would like to start off by saying THANK YOU, again, to all of Project R.E.A.C.H.'s wonderful supporters. We are comprised of foster families, shelter volunteers, rescuers, teachers education supporters, and animal advocates from all over. Each and every one of you is AMAZING! Some of you, I have not met yet, but I am overjoyed by your passion, your good will, and your desire to help animals in need.

Many of you have expressed interest in working with me to use your knowledge, talents, and skills to present to my students, in donating craft supplies and your time, and in sharing your reach by spreading our story. I am humbled by your kindness, and I am honored to be able to work with each of you. 

With that being said, Project R.E.A.C.H. is proud and so happy to announce our (first) official partnership with Salem County Humane Society. As Daretown School is part of Salem County Special Services School District, we wanted to make sure that our R.E.A.C.H. would have a positive local impact and we couldn't be more thrilled with the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with The Salem County Humane Society. 

Here's a little bit about The Salem County Humane Society, in their own words:
"The Salem County Humane Society is a no kill shelter for homeless dogs and cats, located in Carneys Point, New Jersey. As a no kill shelter, we work hard to place animals in loving homes, but for those dogs and cats who aren't able to attract a new family, they remain at the shelter permanently and they see all the volunteers as their family. 
We operate strictly by donations and fundraisers, not by any local, state, or federal government funds, and our staff is 100% volunteers. We do not perform animal control duties; each township within Salem County has its own animal control officer. 
All our animals at the shelter receive veterinary care including spaying and neutering. We never discriminate on the basis of health or age, and take in the abused, unwanted and abandoned companion animals that other human beings have forgotten. We hope people will become more aware of the plight of homeless animals as well as realizing the benefits of adopting an animal in need. We hope you will open your heart and home to one of these pets who is just waiting for the right person."
Taken from

I am bursting at the seams with excitement! I hope that you will show support and love for this organization by visiting their webpage and by liking and sharing their Facebook pages.

Stay tuned. Great things are coming as we will continue to extend our R.E.A.C.H.!! 

Learn more about The Salem County Humane Society:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to School Drive!! :) Clean for a Cause

Many of you have been asking about ways that you can donate to help out Project R.E.A.C.H., and I am so appreciative of your willingness to help. :) 

For the month of August, Project R.E.A.C.H. will be having a "Back To School" Drive for craft supplies/ other donation materials that will all be used to benefit homeless animals. The list will be regularly updated. If you have items that are not on the list, but that you think are craft-related and you'd like to donate, please feel free. I'm sure we will be able to put it to great use.

See the flyer above for the list as of 8/5/13, as well as where to reach us and mail or send donations.  The list is available below, as well.

Remember, you can contact us at the following websites for further information:

Thank you in advance for your support and help!!<3 You are all PAWESOME! :)

Craft Supplies (this list is not COMPLETE…if you have craft items that are not on the list, feel free to donate) J
Animal figurines                                Hot glue gun                                                      Ribbon
Artificial Flowers                              Jewelry-making supplies                              Scrapbooking materials
Beads                                              Key chain making supplies                           Sketch paper    
Buttons                                        Modge podge                                                   Stencils
Canvas                                          Ornaments that are clear or solid colors                 String   
Computer paper                           Paints                                                                    Thread 
Construction paper                           Paint brushes                                                    Tulle     
Craft feathers                                   Paracord                                                 Twine                                   
Craft paper                            Pencils                                                                  Tye-dying materials
Fabric                                        Pens
Felt                                                                        Pillow stuffing
Floral tape                                                           Plastic buckles
Glitter                                                                   Polyester batting
Glitter glue                                                         Pom-poms
glue sticks (hot glue or regular)                  Posterboard
Googly eyes                                                       Posterboard paint markers

Clothing/Home Items (gently used)
t-shirts (plain or with school appropriate images/words)
Bed sheets