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

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