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In what is probably the most touching assignment to date, one class was tasked with helping unwanted shelter dogs find a new home - and the project worked!
Second-grade students at St Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia were asked by teacher Kensey Jones to write letters to help persuade potential owners to adopt animals who had found difficulty in finding homes.
The letters put together by students and written from the perspective of the animals included an insight into the pup’s story, as well as a sketch to help those walking through the kennels.
Kensey Jones had been a volunteer at Richmond Animal Care and Control for four years and pitched the concept to Christie Peters, director of the shelter.
Jones told The Washington Post: “The idea just came to me to connect persuasive writing with these adoptable pets that need a forever home.
“(It was) a way that I could make their writing real for [the students], and actually make an impact on the world and our Richmond community, specifically."
After receiving a gratifying response from Peters, Jones visited the shelter website and selected 24 animals that had previously found difficulty in finding a home.
Reasons such as age, personality, health issues, lack of training, and other imperfections had seen some of the animals live at the shelter for several months.
Peters decided to bring one of the pets into the school to talk about the work done at the shelter and how the letters could help save the animal's lives.
The children put their all into the assignment as well.
Jones said: "As the project unfolded, they just continued to get more and more excited about it."
Some of the letters the second-grade students came up with were quite moving as well.
One said: “I would love to be adopted. If you do adopt me, I hope I will brighten up your Sundays like the sun. You'll be my Sunday Special, and I hope I'll be yours!"
To the delight of the students, the letters worked, with 21 of the 24 animals who had been written about adopted since the beginning of February.
Peters believes the project played a massive part in helping some of the animals find homes.
She said: "It definitely brought exposure to the pets that had the greatest need in our shelter and showcased them in a really different and beautiful light.
“It just sparked something within the community to adopt a pet that's been in our care longer than others.”
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