Saturday, November 23, 2013

Week 11 & 12 Wrap-Up: Busy, Busy, BUSY! :)

Week 11
I know this is a much anticipated update! Last Friday, on November 15th, we had the opportunity and privilege of visiting the Salem County Humane Society. We were SO excited!! :) Thankfully the weather was cooperative, which we were very grateful for, since we had a lot of things to do both outside and inside.

When we arrived, we met Mrs. Connie Waller, a member of the SCHS's Board and a dedicated volunteer. Mrs. Waller took us to visit the kennels and explained to the students that the SCHS is hoping to expand to make even better accommodations for the animals. We saw many different dogs looking for homes, most of which were familiar to all of us, as we've been sharing their pictures and information on our Facebook page. 



Bon Bon




Little Buddy
Bella (We didn't get to see Bella because she went into a foster home for the weekend. We just missed her!)
Tyson (He was not out in the kennels, but we hope he finds his forever soon.)

Everyone was barking and so excited to see us! We listened to Mrs. Waller intently and asked questions about the dogs and about the facility.

We then went inside to meet the kitties and see the rest of the facilities. I think it was kitty relaxation time because when we arrived, most kitties were quietly laying in their basket or hiding spot of choice and were enjoying the relaxing sounds of some easy listening music. However, they were certainly interested with the large influx of students and teachers. We had to be careful to keep all of the kitties inside by moving into the room quickly and making sure the doors were all properly shut. We met the adult cats, and then the senior cats, and the kittens, all of whom have their rooms! They are all so sweet, and are so deserving of a loving home. 

Salem County Humane Society currently hosts over 60 adoptable cats. They are currently running a promotion with cats and kittens. The adoption fee will be waived when the adoptive home applies, passes a vet check, and a house check. That means you can have a new kitty family member for FREE, once you complete the adoption process, which is meant to make sure that the animals all go to the best, most loving homes.

You can check out their website here: 
You can check out their Facebook page here:

Next, it was time for us to get to work!! :) As we were split into three groups, each group had a lead teacher who guided them to each of the following stations: the Decorations, the Mural Sketch, and the PSA Materials. Each of the students had a packet to keep track of their efforts and the directions for each station.

The Decorations station was focused on making the cattery area festive and ready for the holiday season. The students hung window clings and other decorations. They also designed puzzle pieces and a wish for the animals.

Materials needed:
Tape, Window clings, hanging decorations, Puzzle Piece Shapes, Markers, Stars, Glue Stick, Project R.E.A.C.H. wishes for the shelter animals.

Activity 1: Hang 2 ½ sheets of winter/holiday window clings.
Activity 2: Hang 1 package of the hanging decorations.
Activity 3: Puzzle Piece Design

Directions: Pick up a puzzle piece shape. On your chosen puzzle piece, you must complete the following activity:

Using words, drawings, sentences, poems, etc., share
  •     why you love animals,
  •      why you think people should choose to adopt,
  •        why you like helping animals,
  •         and/or how we can all help animals in need.
  •      Make sure your puzzle piece is neat, colorful, and thoughtful.
  •      Put your first name on the back of the puzzle piece.

Activity #4: Wish for the animals
  •     Select a star.
  •     Write a wish for all of the shelter animals or a favorite shelter animal. Samples of prompt starters are below e.g. “I wish that…” “I hope that…” “My wish is…” “I believe that…”
  •     Students can color and draw on the star as they see fit.
  •     They will then glue their star onto the Project R.E.A.C.H. poster board.

At the mural sketch station, the students came outside, near the area on the side of the building where the SCHS has asked us to design a mural for them! The students had some time to study the area and brainstorm ideas for what they'd like to see incorporated into the mural, as well as to provide each other with feedback about the mural sketch.

Materials needed:
R.E.A.C.H. Trip Packet (Mural Sketch Page), notebooks, pencils.

·       Look at space on building where the mural will be set.
·       Begin brainstorming process.
·       Start sketching your ideas and taking notes about what you think you’d like on the mural.
·       Pass your sketch to your peers and take their sketches.
·       Look over each others’ sketches and brainstorms.
·       On the back of the sketch page, leave two compliments and one polite suggestion of something your peer could add to his or her sketch.
·       Review the responses and make notes of adjustments you would like to make.

As the students are developing public service announcements about adoption, the perfect place to get information about adoption was straight from the Humane Society. The students had the opportunity to meet and learn about several dogs and were able to gather pictures and video that will be useful for their public service announcements. 

The students discussed the importance of spaying and neutering, and why it is so important to opt to adopt. Mrs. Waller informed the students that adoption fees for the animals are as follows:

$100.00 for dogs/ puppies
$ 75.00 for cats/ kittens

The animals all come home with you up to date on shots and vetting and are spayed or neutered. The lasting love and friendship you develop with your furry family member is PRICELESS. Thanks to Mrs. Waller, the students gathered a lot of great information to use in their PSAs.

                        PSA MATERIALS STATION
Materials needed:
R.E.A.C.H. Trip Packet (PSA Page), camera with video capabilities/ Mrs. Sears’ phone, notebooks, pencils.

·       Brainstorm ideas for slogans, music, and words/ phrases to be used in PSA with peers.
·       Capture pictures and video that will be useful for your PSA.
·       Explain pictures/ video you took and on what device they are located on your PSA Page. 

The students visited each of the stations and worked very hard! I am so proud of their efforts. By the time we got on the bus to go back to Daretown, we were all very (happily) tired and spent the twenty minute drive quiet and reflecting on our afternoon at the SCHS. 

We can't begin to thank Mrs. Waller and all of the wonderful volunteers enough for all of the love and care they give to the animals in need. We are so thankful and happy that we were able to spend time with the animals that we are trying to help and we can't wait to go back. 

Week 12 (November 18th-November 22)

We spent a lot of time this week focused on developing posters and pamphlets and fundraising crafts for the months ahead. You may notice in the pictures that we are using the ribbon that Ms. Halscheid donated to us to hang our perler bead ornaments. Thank you so very much, Ms. Halscheid.

Our craft fundraising drives will be coming soon!!

You may have seen this week's posts about our "Bow-Wow and Meow Holiday Giving Drive" and our "Warm and Fuzzy Towel and Blanket Drive." These two drives are going on from now until Friday, December 20th!  We've already received many wonderfully generous donations, but we are hoping to receive even more donations to help animals in need. You can help, and there is no donation that is not appreciated or that is too small. If you have any questions, or would like to help, please contact us.

Also, I want to give a special thank you to Mr and Mrs. Raymond for their generous donation to Project R.E.A.C.H.'s two drives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in us, and for helping the animals in need!!

We've also been asked by the Salem County Humane Society to develop a holiday backdrop for an upcoming fundraiser that they will be doing to raise funds for the SCHS. WOW! What an honor. We have been brainstorming some great ideas and are looking forward to designing and painting the backdrop next week. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Thank you for your support. :)

-Jessica Sears

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Warm and Fuzzy" Towel and Blanket Drive

“Warm and Fuzzy” Towel And Blanket Drive

November 12th 2013 - December 20th 2013

This year we are working to donate blankets and towels to animals shelters in need. One of our first efforts to give back to the animals in need is to collect blankets and towels to help keep the animals clean and warm throughout the winter. If you happen to have any excess towels, blankets, washcloths, or sheets that you do not need or are taking up space in your house, please consider donating them to us to distribute to local shelter pets.

If you have any donations, you can simply drop them off to Mrs. Sears' room! Also, the students will be participating in other fundraisers and drives coming up in the months ahead.


                Thanks so much! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Warm and Fuzzy Towel and Blanket Drive

     Warm and Fuzzy    Towel and Blanket

Project R.E.A.C.H. is asking you to donate blankets, towels, or any other type of materials to keep animals clean and warm for the cold winter ahead. Please consider donating them to Project R.E.A.C.H. so we can help keep animals warm. We are collecting for this drive until 12/20/13

Thank You.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project R.E.A.C.H.'s Donation Drive

Bow-wow and Meow Holiday Giving Drive
 Project R.E.A.C.H

Project R.E.A.C.H is asking you to spread your cheer to our fur-friends at Salem County Humane Society by making a donation.

Your donation can be dropped off at Daretown School, can be picked up from your location, or can be arranged with Jessica Sears.

Supplies needed for cats include:                     

Supplies needed for dogs include:

Supplies needed for shelter include:

  • Canned and dry cat food
  •  Canned kitchen food
  • Cat treats
  • Scoop able cat liter
  • Litter boxes
  • Cat beds
  • Cat carriers

  • Canned and dry dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Dog leaches
  • Dog collars
  • Dog beds
  • Pooper scoopers

  • Bleach
  • Lysol
  • Paper Towels
  • Trash Bags
  • Flea medicines
  • Bath supplies
  • Dish soap

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Bow-Wow and Meow" Holiday Giving Drive & "Warm & Fuzzy" Towel and Blanket Drive

It's time to CELEBRATE! Today we received our first donation for our "Bow-Wow and Meow" Holiday Giving Drive (NOW-until December 20th). Remember, we also have our "Warm & Fuzzy" Towel and Blanket Drive going on NOW, as well! No donation istoo small and they all mean a lot to Project REACH and the animals in need.

Our first donation came from Daretown School's wonderful Secondary Science teacher, Ms. Redkoles. Ms. Redkoles donated some treats for the kitties, a bottle of bleach to help keep the shelter nice and clean, and flea/tick medicine for the pups! WOW! Thank you so very much, Ms. Redkoles♥

Here are some thank you messages from each of the groups!

Group 1: "Thank you , Ms. Redkoles, so much for these donations. They will be appreciated by the dogs and cats."
Group 2: "Thank you for your donations for the animals, Ms. Redkoles."
Group 3: "Thank you so much for your donations for the animals. They will be put to good use and we are very thankful."
Group 4: "Thank you very much for your donation, Ms. Redkoles!"

Need more details about these drives? Check out the information below.

                     Bow-Wow and Meow Holiday Giving Drive

                           November 12th-December 20th

No matter what holiday you celebrate (or even if you don’t celebrate holidays), we all know the importance of giving and of spreading kindness. That’s why Project R.E.A.C.H. is asking you to spread your cheer to our fur-riends at Salem County Humane Society by making a donation. Your donation can be dropped off at Daretown School, can be picked up from your location, or can be arranged with Jessica Sears.
      Supplies that are needed include:

o       Canned and dry cat food
o       Canned kitten food
o       Kitten milk
o       Cat treats
o       Scoopable Cat litter
o       Litter Boxes
o       Cat beds
o       Cat carriers
o       Canned and dry dog food (4Health from Tractor Supply Co. and other brands will be donated to other shelters)
o       Dog treats
o       Dog Leashes
o       Dog collars
o       Dog Beds
o       Pooper Scoopers
o       Bleach
o       Lysol
o       Paper Towels
o       Trash Bags
o       Flea Medicines
o       Bath supplies
o       Dish Soap


November 12th-December 20th

Hi Everyone!
            We are working to donate blankets and towels to animal shelters in need. One of our first efforts to give back to the animals in need is to collect blankets and towels to help keep them clean and warm throughout the winter. If you happen to have any towels, washcloths, blankets, or sheets that you don’t need or are taking up space in your house, please consider donating them to us to distribute to local shelter pets.
             If you have any donations, you can simply drop them off to my room! J Also, the students will be participating in other fundraisers and drives coming up in the months ahead! J
                                                                        Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week 10 Wrap Up: 'Tis the Season for Giving (and CRAFTING)

Because of the NJEA convention, we only had three days of school last week, which meant we had a lot of things to do and only a little time to do it in! :) That's okay, though, because we work well together. It was a very important week for Project R.E.A.C.H., because on top of all of our other classwork, we also had to review our upcoming fundraising and donation drives and determine team leaders for each initiative.

The students each chose the top five initiatives that they wanted to contribute their skills to, and those who liked all of the activities will play an even bigger role in making the drives and fundraisers run smoothly.

Here are our plans for upcoming donation and fundraising drives: (More details, advertisements, and information will be forthcoming)

Donation Drives: 
  • Bow-Wow and Meow Holiday Giving Drive: From now until Friday, December 20, 2013, we will be collecting donations for the Salem County Humane Society, and if we can, for other local shelters.

  • "Warm and Fuzzy" Towel and Blanket Drive: From now until Friday, December 20, 2013, we will be collected unwanted, gently used towels, blankets, and sheets to warm homeless animals in local shelters.
Fundraisers to Benefit Animals:
  • Bake Sales: We will be making treats for a bake sale that Salem County Humane Society will be having at the Tractor Supply Company in Woodstown on Christmas Eve. We are also likely going to be having our own bake sale in the spring! :)
  • Customized Bandannas: The students will be customizing Bandannas to both use as fundraisers and to donate to animals to help them get adopted!
  • Perler Beads Figurines:The students are making perler beads figurines, possibly into both ornaments and/or magnets and will be selling them to donate the funds raised to the SCHS.
  • Ornament Design:The students are designing ornaments and will be selling them to donate the funds raised to the SCHS.
  • Jewelry-Making:The students are making jewelry to sell and we will donate the funds raised to the SCHS.
What are your thoughts? What fundraisers or donation drives are you most excited about?! We'd love to hear from you. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Research Project

I recently did a research project on the peregrine falcon and found out that it was at one point in time on the endangered species list. Scientists went through great efforts to find the reasoning behind the dropping population and discovered that humans were using pesticides for crops and the prey the peregrine falcon eats was digesting these poisons. The poisons then made the eggs for the falcon not fertile and extremely soft, causing a dramatic decrease in population. Thanks to laws passed banning these poisons, the falcons' population has been on the rise and is off the endangered species list hopefully for good. I enjoyed this project because the peregrine falcon is my favorite bird of prey and I always am learning new things about animals.


A Sincere Thank You! :)

       Over the weekend, Project R.E.A.C.H. received some very generous donations from three wonderful women from NJSPCA's A Better Tomorrow for the Animals, a group that I work with to fundraise for animals in need. 

       Ms. Raymond, Mrs. Gambone, and Ms. Olson all donated craft kits, an art kit, baskets, two 2014-2015 calendars, and a set of animal stickers for us to use for fundraising activities. 

        As we are getting geared up for our upcoming holiday donation drives and fundraisers,  these awesome donations are certainly going to come in handy. Thank you so much for helping us to help the animals! 

                                                                                      -Mrs. Sears

Here are some "thank yous" from students "captains" from each of the groups! :)

Group 1: "Thank you for donating all of the kits!"-Keon

Group 2: "My group members and I would all like to thank you for the kits you donated. We will use them for raising money as Project R.E.A.C.H. to help the animals. Thank you so much!" From, Brett

Group 3: "Thank you for all of the kits! All of us in Project R.E.A.C.H. are very thankful and can't wait for the trip and to start making the crafts." From, Group 3 Captain Ronnie

Group 4:  "Group 4 wants to thank all of the people that donated materials to Daretown School to benefit our education. Thank you." -Group 4

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 8 and 9 Wrap Up/ Moving Forward!

Week 8
Week 8 was a whirlwind! We've been learning about using social media as a tool for promoting change and practicing sharing for animals in need. The great thing is, the students have been doing an excellent job, especially with developing their introductions in the posts. I'm very proud of their efforts. If you "like" our page on Facebook, you've probably noticed that students/ groups have been posting and leaving their "signatures"! Sometimes they have forgotten, but that's quite alright! :) Slowly but surely, they are managing the page during the day while yours truly manages the page on nights and weekends. :) I am very proud of their efforts.

You also probably enjoyed the recent post by Eugene and another Group 4 student about how to make a collage to "advertise" for animals in need. This set of instructions was developed by these two fantastic students in order to help others help animals! :) I'm so pleased with their collaboration. If you didn't get a chance to look at the blog post, here it is for your enjoyment and hopefully learning~ :)

In other Week 8 news, I'm pleased to say that Project R.E.A.C.H. will have an even bigger reach thanks to our friendship with the team of Dog By Dog, headed by my friend Mr. Chris Grimes. As one of our aims is to stand up against animal cruelty, the efforts of DBD are very relevant to our learning!

Dog By Dog is a documentary
"that aims to wake up the American public to the horrible realities of puppy mills by following the money trail across the United States and confronting those that have maintained this corrupt and irresponsible system. While many documentaries have admirably exposed the public to the sickening underworld of puppy mills, what has been missing from the public discussion is a close examination of the umbrella of monetary support which have sentenced millions of healthy dogs to death and allowed the most irresponsible dog breeders to thrive. Many people try to save these animals one by one, or dog by dog. This documentary aims to point out the problems of the current system in order to move toward a kinder and gentler one." (Dog By Dog Website)
To learn more about "Dog By Dog," please check out the following social media accounts:

More information will come forward as we work out details, but I am sure that you will all be very excited. :) Knowledge most certainly sustains compassion, and collaboration helps to expand knowledge. Working together, we can certainly make positive strides in this world.

Week 9 
During Week 9, students have pressed forward with their collage-building efforts thanks to the help of some peer educators who have passed on the torch to show their peers how to navigate the whole process. Not all of the students have had the opportunity to create posts, but stay tuned.

Groups 2,3, and 4 have been making preliminary concept development for their public service announcements, which means that they have been brainstorming appropriate music, images, and text/ voice-overs that they will be using to develop their collaborative videos.

Group 1 has been working through the full writing process to participate in the "Pets Add Life" poetry contest. I am very pleased with their efforts and use of poetry writing concepts with such literary elements as "similes," "metaphors," "imagery," "onomatopoeia," and "alliteration." I will certainly share their finalized drafts some time during the upcoming week.

Moving Forward
This week, students are going to be working on lessons involving crafting and fundraising efforts! They will also be learning about budgeting for care of companion animals and will be completing a refresher course on how to appropriately interact and greet companion animals. Our trip to the Salem County Humane Society is quickly approaching (Friday, November 15th) and we are getting geared up for all of the fun things we will be doing during our time there. More details on our efforts this coming week will be posted as soon as possible.

Thank you, again, for your constant love and support of Project R.E.A.C.H. We can not begin to thank you enough for your thoughtfulness and compassion!!