HILLSBORO — The entire third grade class at Hillsboro Elementary School learned the impact of giving back through a service project.
Last month, 45 students mad 35 tie blankets, 50 dog treats, 20 dog chew toys and 20 cat nip toys for Carl W. Nelson Animal Shelter in Mauston. Third grade teacher Ann Benz said it took three to four weekly afternoons during a one hour STEM period throughout the month of December to make the toys.
The class delivered the items to the shelter the day before Christmas Eve, she said.
Benz, a first year teacher at the school district, said she decided to incorporate the project based off the high school’s servant leadership program for the students to learn the importance of helping others through service.
Benz decided to make items for the Carl W Nelson Shelter is because she thought the students could connect to it.
“Third graders love animals, they absolutely have a passion for it,” she said. “They all have pets they talk about their animals I thought I would be something they could connect to easily.”
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Benz said the items will be used by the shelter for the animals to play with and gifts when leaving the shelter after adoption. Besides giving to other animals in need at the shelter, the project also helped students make toys for their own pets, Benz said. Nine-year-old Aubirie Herritz, a third grade student at the elementary school, said she made one of the toys for her dog on her own time.
Benz said she hopes the service project continues in the future so students can learn the impact and importance of giving.
“I just think it’s a great lesson for us to remember to reach out and help others,” she said.
The lesson of helping others is something Benz extended to the classroom with the students now focusing on learning about respect as a part of the character curriculum, what it means, how to treat others and how to reach out to people in need.
She said the students enjoyed making the toys and were happy to “do something for a good cause.” Nine-year-old Hayley Berg, a student at Hillsboro Elementary School, agreed.
“It’s good to give to animals and anything that might need things,” Berg said.
Learning the importance of serving is what Allison Hora, 8, learned.
“Not to always be greedy and help other people,” Hora said.
Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.