1.6.2020 - 3:07 PM - Vivian Gehring
When the clock struck 8:30 AM on Tuesday, December 17, the Prentice High School Environmental Science class loaded up the buses and headed out to Medford. They arrived at the Humane Society with blankets and other supplies for the animals.
Weeks before then the student decorated boxes to collect donations and created posters to place in local stores and public buildings explaining that the class was accepting donations of recyclable metals and other materials. Items were to be set inside the decorated boxes outside the doors of the school. Moriah Main, the new environmental science teacher at Prentice, states, “The money we raised was used to purchase cat litter, toys, and other holiday items the animals would love.” And the animals did seem to love them as most came right up to the students on delivery day.
Upon arrival at the Humane Society, the students separated into groups and completed many jobs. They worked mainly on cleaning, giving the staff a little break from those specific jobs. They cleaned both inside and out from shoveling snow to washing walls.They also cleaned litter boxes and windows, working to improve the building. Rebecca Slachetka, a PHS junior, states that , “It was a cool experience. I loved spending time out of class, of course, but I think what made it so great was the fact that it was for a good cause.”
The idea to do a community service project was originally Main’s idea. Main felt that, “Community involvement is a vital part of teaching and showing students that our work in school can be directly related to the community. Providing students with an out-of -school experience, such as donating supplies and time, to a local organization can also show them that when we work together we can make a big impact.” This was Maine's first year doing a community project like this one with her class. Students Olivia Burcaw and Kaelyn Berger came up with the idea of doing the community service project at the Humane Society.
The Humane Society is a shelter for cats and dogs that, according to the Humane Society website, the organization goals are “to bring together individuals who care for and about animals.” This organization helps animals who may have been through animal cruelty and works to show the effects that the overpopulation of these animals may have on the community.
Bethany Weise is the manager of the animal shelter, she works hard at getting animals to get out of the shelter and into healthy homes. She also helps keep the place running. Weise states, “Our volunteers are amazing! We love and appreciate everything they do for us, and we wouldn’t be here without them!” To those who wish to volunteer, she explained, “stop in anytime we’re open and fill out a volunteer form! We would love to have you here!” The employees were kind and seemed to enjoy the help from students.
Main states, ”I will plan on doing another service project next year; however, it definitely needs to be something more feasible that students can work on more when they are in school.” She also expressed, “I like having the Environmental Science connection, but I will need to start preparing for it a lot earlier."