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The students at Cartmell Elementary School collected more than 3,000 non-perishable food items last November to feed hungry families in Carroll County. Now the students are collecting items for another good cause—to “help save the lost pets.”
The Cartmell Student Council is leading a drive during the month of February to help provide supplies for Carroll County Animal Support, a local non-profit animal rescue organization.
“We are trying to live out our mission, ‘To serve and lead with pride and dedication’,” said student council sponsor Jonica Ray, the instructional coach at Cartmell.
The students at Cartmell Elementary School are bringing in a variety of items, including dog and cat food (dry or canned), kitty litter, dog shampoo, dish soap, paper towels, detergent, bleach, all-purpose cleaning supplies and used pet carriers or crates. The students are also looking for related pet items, such as dog and cat grooming brushes, food and water bowls, puppy pads, dog and cat treats, and cat and dog toys.
“I think it is wonderful,” Tammie Crawford, executive director of Carroll County Animal Support, said. “It will help out tremendously.”
Crawford said that the organization tries to find homes for unwanted cats and dogs and that the donations will help to temporarily house the animals until they can be adopted.
Ray said that student council offers third, fourth and fifth grade students an opportunity to actively participate in school-wide initiatives, lend their hands to community causes and be a role model for their peers. Each classroom elects two representatives, one boy and one girl.
Cartmell Principal Doug Oak said that student council introduces students to democracy and representative government. He pointed out that students are doing the animal support project themselves and that they are learning to become leaders through various service projects they perform throughout the year.
“We passed out fliers and told everyone they should bring in pet supplies,” Lauren Perkinson, who represents Emily Brown’s fourth grade class along with Cole Supplee, said. At the end of the first week, Brown’s class had the highest total of 46 items.
Third graders Bailey Leap and Aiden Hollingsworth in Judy Kemper’s third grade class said that, as class representatives, they try to help out other students and the teacher.
“We help people by reminding them to do their homework, and I help Ms. Kemper unstack chairs in the morning,” Leap said.
“I stay in the gym in the morning and get everyone quiet and keep the line straight,” Hollingsworth, who said he hopes their class will collect the most items in the animal shelter, added. “I’m going to bring in a lot of stuff.”
Ray said that, in addition to the animal support project, she has asked student council members to ask their classmates for ideas of how to enhance their “Panther Parties,” which the school offers about every six weeks to celebrate good grades, attendance and citizenship. She has also asked them to gather ideas on what kind of equipment the students would like to add to the playground.
After one week of the drive, Ray’s office wall is lined up with 165 items — bags and cans of pet food, rolls of paper towels, a bottle of bleach, and a box of chew toys.
“The students have really responded,” Ray said. “By the end of February, I think my office is going to be pretty crowded.”
Ray said donations from the general public can be dropped off at Cartmell Elementary or given to a Cartmell student. For information about Carroll County Animal Support or to make financial contributions, contact Crawford at (502) 732-6040 or visit the organization’s website at www.carrollcountyanimalsupport.webs.com.
Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.