Thursday, September 26, 2013

Remember Me Thursday: 9/26/13

Remember Me Thursday is an initiative from the Helen Woodward Animal Center to remember the millions of innocent pets who have lost their lives each year in shelters because they weren't adopted.
The goal is to spread awareness about the importance of adoption and to shine a light on all of the adoptable animals waiting for their forever homes across the country. This is an annual event that occurs on the fourth Thursday of September.

You can get involved with "Remember Me Thursday" in many different ways. You can change your profile picture and cover photo. You can also light a candle today, take a picture, and upload it to your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram, Blogger, etc.) with the hashtag #lightforpets

Encourage your family members and friends to get in on this incredible cause, too!! Remember, this simple gesture can help spread awareness and help homeless animals in our communities! :)

Click the link below for more details, downloadable icons, and to light a virtual candle of your own.

Download icons, profile pictures, and cover photos: 

Light a Virtual Candle:

Download the Virtual Candle app for your phone: 

Today, Project R.E.A.C.H. students learned about this awareness campaign and became a part of it by lighting virtual (and physical) candles to honor those lives lost and to spread awareness about the many, many wonderful animals waiting to be adopted. The students also began brainstorming to develop an awareness campaign video of their own, inspired by the "Remember Me Thursday" campaign video (shared below) which features Kristin Chenoweth's song "I Was Here."

Below is a collage of each of the groups' candles from the class ceremony we had! 

It is a great honor and a privilege to participate in this campaign and in the words of one of our fantastic student R.E.A.C.H.ers, "I think that the "Remember Me Thursday" is a very good idea," and in the words of another, "Remember Me Thursday" is going to do good."

Please, always remember to OPT to ADOPT! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 3: Our Sunday Update

Woo hoo! Week 3 has ended, but we got a lot of great work accomplished on our Animal Research Projects. Most students have completed their graphic organizers and research and are moving to the final phase of the project: designing their brochure, poster, or informational flyer. J I’m really impressed by all of the great work the students have been doing because they are working on many other lessons/ activities, as well. Kudos to them for a job well done! As projects are finished, they will be posted on here to share.

I had the privilege and great honor of meeting with several Board Members from the Salem County Humane Society to discuss Project R.E.A.C.H. and share some of the ideas that have been developed so far. We are all very excited about this partnership. :)

Moving forward, there will be different fundraisers and activities that the students will participate in, as well as awareness campaigns.  One of our students from Group Three even came up with an AMAZING idea that we will be working on and will share more details as we work through it.
Did you know that from today, Sunday, September 22, 2013 through Saturday, September 28, 2013 is “National Dog Week”? Now would be an amazing time to donate to your local shelter and to help raise awareness about adoptable pups!

On this coming Thursday, September 26, 2013, my students and I will be participating in “Remember Me Thursday” which is an awareness campaign from the Helen Woodward Animal Center which is aiming to remember the innocent lives who are lost in shelters without ever having their forever home and to shed light on all of the incredible adoptable animals! We will be lighting candles and posting those images on our Facebook page and our Blog on Thursday to promote the idea that you should “opt to adopt” to reduce the number of orphaned pets euthanized yearly. We ask that you participate to spread awareness, too.  You can participate in several different ways, as shown below (thanks to the Helen Woodward Animal Center):
“1. Change Your Facebook or Twitter Icon

Change your Facebook profile picture or Twitter icon to the Remember Me Thursday icon to show your support for pet adoption worldwide! Download the icons at

2. Share Your Love For Pet Adoption on Social Media – #LightForPets

Spread the word about Remember Me Thursday on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Don’t forget to use #LIGHTFORPETS to share your thoughts and feelings about the importance of pet adoption. Need ideas for tweets and posts? Go here for graphics and a social one-sheet full of ideas:

3. Light A Candle for Pets on September 26, 2013

The candles, lit on the exact same day across the world, will honor the millions of pets who lost their lives over the past year without the benefit of a loving home. Word of the awareness campaign has spread like wildfire in the form of celebrity social media posts and rescue facilities from New York City to Puerto Rico to Japan have joined the cause. You can check to see if a pet rescue or pet adoption organization near you is holding a candle-lighting event, or you can light one virtually online. Light a candle at

Remember, each and every one of us can make a difference in this world!! J

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Thursday Update! :)

If you haven't had the opportunity, feel free to check out our Facebook page at I am waiting to get some more permission slips back from students to enable them to begin posting on our blog and Facebook page. One of my fantastic students posted on our Facebook page today. I've re-posted it below for you! :) 

"From a Project REACH Student in Group 3:

I am almost finished my animal research project on the Savannah Monitor. Did you know that Savannah Monitors can grow to be 7ft long from nose to tail!? 

I can’t wait to go to the Salem County Humane Society. I thought of a really great project that we can do for Project R.E.A.C.H. that I talked to Mrs. Sears about today. I can’t wait to start to do this project with my classmates. I can’t believe I’m saying this but this is going to be the best year of school ever!"

I've been sworn to secrecy, but the project that this student is referring to is something that he came up with himself and as it develops, we will share more information with you. :) Do you have any ideas that you'd like to see come to life through Project R.E.A.C.H.? Feel free to share!! :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 2 Wrap-Up!: 9/9/13-9/13/13

Hi Everybody!

Here are some students' "tweet" sheets about Project R.E.A.C.H. and our class, as promised. :) At the end of each lesson, students share their comments, thoughts, questions, and critiques about what they learned/ discussed.

Click on the picture to get a better close up! :)

The students have shared some awesome ways to help animals in our community, and I am thrilled that they are on board and just as excited as me.

Our current focus project is to develop a flyer, poster, or brochure about the students' favorite animal (domesticated or wild). The objective is for the students to select an animal to learn more about through research. From there, the students will be using a graphic organizer for note-taking, which will be used to jot down the ideas that will be used in their project. They will be sharing the physical appearance of the animal, its habitat, proper diet/ care needed, among other things! Stay tuned for more information and pictures as these projects are developed.

What are some of your favorite animals? :)

P.S. As I receive more permission slips back from my students, you will see an increased number of blog posts and Facebook posts that are generated by them! :)

Don't forget to head over to our official Facebook page and "like" us!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 1: The First Two Days of School

The first two days of school were AWESOME! All of the secondary students are very excited about Project R.E.A.C.H. and are gearing up for a great school year. To get in the spirit of R.E.A.C.H., students reviewed what the project was all about we check out the Facebook page and this blog on the Promethean Board. They were only too happy to be able to develop their first Group post! :) 

In their groups, they worked together to determine the ways in which they thought they (as individuals) could help animals in need and how others (with different resources) could address the needs of animals.  To complete this task, they each used a graphic organizer where their ideas about how they could help were showcased front and center. Collaboratively, the students compared their responses and shared ideas. They came up with some amazing ideas and had some thoughtful discussions with each other and with me. :) Some of their "brainstorms" are pictured below, in various stages of completion, when the photos were taken.

Here's our Project R.E.A.C.H. board in our classroom!! :)
The students also used their "tweet" sheets (inspired by Twitter) to share their thoughts, feelings, questions, and ideas about things that they learned in class. I will post them in another submission!! :)

So, what do you think? Aren't these R.E.A.C.H.ers fantastic?!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy First Day of School & Our Official Launch!! :)

Wow! What an awesome day!! :) There were so many things to be done and we have a lot of work ahead of us, but 2013-2014 is going to be an amazing year. 

They are all very excited to be a part of Project R.E.A.C.H. and have so many wonderful ideas. If you are friends of our Facebook page, you may have noticed that the groups of students worked together to say "hi" to everyone and to share some of their thoughts. They are working brilliantly as teams. I am SO proud of them all!! :)

Today was a bit of a trial run, and it's going to take everyone a little time to get used to developing posts. We weren't able to post during class, so I made sure to upload everything when I could. Once we all get the hang of it, the students will be posting, sharing links, and keeping you up to date. Stay tuned!!

In the mean time, here are the messages that all of the groups wanted to share: