Students welcome some furry visitors at Wells Elementary School. The students have been raising money for Maggie Society this semester.
By Drew C. Wilson
Times Staff Writer
Fourth-graders at Wells Elementary School are working with The Maggie Society of Wilson to find homes for dogs and puppies in Wilson.
“I feel that we helped these dogs a lot because now they have homes, and they are safe and they have food and water,” said student Elijah Twiss.
The Waggin’ at Wells program is a service learning project to give back to the community.
“The children have many learning opportunities that are associated with their goals and objectives for their grade level so the teachers learn various real-world types of projects in order to teach those goals and objectives, and they just chose something that they want to do for our communities,” said Wendy Sullivan, principal. “They find it very rewarding to try to find homes for these animals and to give back for the animals.”
The Maggie Society Rescue, Rehabilitations and Education is a non-profit group based in Wilson. The organization rescues homeless, neglected or abandoned dogs. Members provide foster homes for dogs and puppies in which they are given basic house training to make them suitable for integration into loving permanent homes. The animals are spayed or neutered and given veterinary checkups and any necessary vaccines.
During the months of March, April and May, the students collected donations and food and sold more than 40 Maggie Society T-shirts. They also held a concert that included some of the pups they are helping.
“We raised a little over $1,000 that will go for dogs that need heart worm treatments and vet appointments,” said teacher Jennifer Smith. “One vet appointment for a dog that needs treatments, shots, vaccines is around $500 to $600, so they really, really did well with it. One T-shirt sold will pay for one vaccine, so we sold over 40 shirts, so we purchased over 40 vaccines.”
Smith said the project got the children motivated, involved and educated on different aspects of dog rescue, and the project also helped them understand the possibility that some children in their school might need help.
“My favorite part was probably the puppies,” said student C.J. Robl. “I think that all dogs should have homes. I think that if dogs are stray, it’s like humans being out on the streets, so we need to find homes for them. Some people don’t have as much money and don’t have shelter or food. They need help from other people.”
Student Aniya Williams said her classmates were behind the pet project “so that that they won’t be lonely and wandering the streets.”
Teacher Brooke Fernandez said it is important for students to understand that they can contribute to their community.
“I think a lot of times kids don’t really have that mindset because I think they can kind of be focused on themselves.
“I think most kids have pets, whether it’s a dog, a cat or turtle, whatever,” Fernandez said. “I think kids can relate a lot more to pets.”
“I loved all of the puppies that came, and it was a very good experience that the kids had,” said student Claire Woodard.
Teacher Kristen Boswell said the service learning project helped students learn how to collaborate with each other and let them know that they could work together to reach an end goal.
“It prepares them for the real world as far as working together, collaborating and having them to have steps and know that a process is needed to reach that goal,” Boswell said.
One student adopted one of the dogs, a Bassett hound/mutt mix.
“My family actually adopted a dog from the Maggie Society,” said student Harper Daniels. “She was found in a garage, so that was a lot different than other dogs that you see. She is really cute and fun to play with. Her name is Ruby. It makes you feel good because you know that you helped them out and you made them feel better.”
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