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Second graders write meaningful stories from the perspective of shelter dogs in order to get them adopted

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A second-grade teacher devised a writing assignment for her children that aids with the adoption of local shelter animals.

Second-graders at St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia, created artwork that was accompanied by letters written by the animals themselves to future cat and dog “parents.”

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

Kensey Jones, a teacher at St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia, invited her students to draw pictures of animals at Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) and then write letters from the perspective of the animals to assist them get adopted.

“Hello! I’m Pitato Chip. I’m a Pitbull!” exclaimed one story. “I won’t hurt you, I’ll give you lots of kisses! Slurp! I like the animal shelter, but I want to live with you!”

Christie Peters, director of Richmond Animal Care & Control (RACC), said she collaborated on the initiative with Kensey Jones, her son’s teacher.

Jones was the “brainchild” behind the sweet letters, according to Peters.

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

“The class was working on persuasive writing, and they wrote pieces as if they were speaking on behalf of the shelter dog trying to get adopted,” Peters added. “I said, ‘That’s the coolest idea … let’s do it.” 

Each student was given a dog or cat from RACC and was “briefed” on the animal’s history and temperament.

The written narrative and images were then placed on the outside of kennels to encourage potential adopters to take an animal home with them.

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

In a news release, Jones, who is also a RACC volunteer, said, “This classroom project collaboration allowed me to combine my two greatest passions, children’s literacy and helping animals in need.”

“I am so proud to see my students rise to the occasion and write amazing persuasive paragraphs through the eyes of one of their RACC dogs.”

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

“All dogs deserve a loving home, especially Snow [the puppy ambassador].” Danielle Petroski, a second-grader at St. Michael’s, said, “I am so very happy to be able to help neglected animals find great forever families.”

According to Peters, there were around 24 dog stories and one cat story written.

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

The students were instructed by Peters and Jones to focus on RACC’s oldest residents, those who had lived there the longest, and animals who needed “some little extra help” in finding homes.

Eight animals were swiftly adopted once their stories were written — and read, according to Jones.

Credits: Richmond Animal Care and Control

“It’s such a creative way that we partnered with this school to bring awareness and I hope it’s something other shelters in the country will do to market their shelter animals,” Jones added.

Source:1, 2, 3, 4.

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