Children Submitted Essays To Aid In The Adoption Of Shelter Dogs, And It Worked

Children Submitted Essays To Aid In The Adoption Of Shelter Dogs, And It Worked

When it came to this year’s persuasive writing assignment, second grade teacher Kensey Jones wanted her pupils to create something that would make a meaningful impact.

So she went to the director of the animal shelter where she works as a volunteer.



“How do you feel about second-graders writing persuasive paragraphs from the perspective of a shelter animal?” Jones, 42, a teacher at Richmond’s St. Michael’s Episcopal School, inquired. Christie Peters, the director of the shelter, was enthralled by the concept, as were city citizens. The majority of the 24 animals that Jones’ students drew drawings of and wrote persuasive essays for (23 dogs and one cat) have been adopted.

Peters, 44, director of Richmond Animal Care and Control, told TODAY Parents, “The rapidity with which they were adopted after we performed this advertising definitely provides merit to it.” “These were dogs who had been disregarded for a long time, and the (essays) really did bring people into the shelter and perhaps help them think about those dogs and the one cat in a new perspective.”

Jones and Peters decided that the children should write about creatures that were more difficult to adopt for various reasons.

“We were very careful to include animals that were not easily adopted — animals that were perhaps older, had a health issue in the past, just needed a little extra TLC, or perhaps needed to be the only pet in the home,” Jones noted. “I then sat down with the class and informed them about each of the dogs, as well as a little about their personalities, before assigning each student an animal.”

Peters brought a puppy, Snow, to school to help them prepare. It was a huge hit with the students. They were inspired to write convincingly for their pets after playing with Snow and knowing how the shelter functions. Missy was allocated to Parker Witthoefft, 7 years old (that he hoped his family would adopt). Missy was one of the first dogs to be adopted, even though she didn’t go home with Parker.

“Writing isn’t always the first thing kids want to do,” Richmond parent Jaclyn Witthoefft, 40, told TODAY Parents. “Parker was salivating at the prospect. He was having a lot of fun connecting with the narrative and the pets.”

As part of a class assignment, Parker Witthoefft, 7, enjoyed writing about Missy from her point of view. Missy was one of the first pets adopted thanks to his essay, which he tried to persuade his parents to adopt. Courtesy St. Michael’s Episcopal School is a coed, coed, coed, co

Witthoefft believes Parker will remember this task for the rest of her life, and that it reinforced the empathy skills she teaches her children.
“I constantly tell my kids to ‘put yourself in another person’s shoes,'” she remarked. “That’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t a human shoe, but it was paws, and they had to put themselves in the shoes of that dog or cat and consider how they would persuade someone based on the personality and needs of that animal.”

The essays demonstrate how the children succeeded at comprehending their pets.

One of them says:



“Hello, my name is Gail Weathers. I’d love to have a place to call home. I have a good life here, but I really want my own dog bed. I’d like a toy as well as a large yard. “I’d like to be the only animal in the house.”
The second graders were inspired to write persuasive essays from the perspective of animals after spending time with Snow, a puppy from the Richmond Animal Care and Control shelter.
St. Michael’s Episcopal School provided this image.

Another person says:


“My name is Sleigh Ride, and I’d want to introduce myself. Are you interested in adopting me? If you want, you can teach me. Please add a heart to my collar. I am a female. What’s your name? You are welcome to cuddle with me. I swear I’ll be a nice dog for you. If you wish, you can even sleep with me. I enjoy going for walks and playing in the yard. I’m a medium-sized canine. This area is starting to bore me. Would you adore me indefinitely? “Love, a cute pet,” says the narrator.

Jones has kept the pupils updated on who has been adopted every day since the shelter initiative began.

“I’ve heard — not directly from an adoptive, but through word of mouth — that our writings influenced them to adopt from RACC, and it just ripped at their heartstrings,” she added.
Everyone who adopted a dog that came with an essay and drawing from St. Michael’s Episcopal School students got to keep it along with their new pet.
St. Michael’s Episcopal School provided this image.


Peters, whose son Max, 8, is in Jones’ class, hopes that other shelters consider forming similar connections with local schools. She claims it’s a win-win situation that doesn’t necessitate any additional marketing expenditure.

“The stories and graphics were just so charming and so cute,” she remarked, adding that they were written from such a wonderful perspective. “It was a tremendous help.”

People were more interested in adopting long-term shelter residents who had an artwork and essay from Kensey Jones’ second grade children.

St.  School provided this image.

Jones, who is in Michael’s Episcopalalks and spends time with the dogs at the shelter on a monthly basis, hopes that this concept grows.

“I’d want to see this idea expand to other schools and local shelters so that we can work together to find more homes for our pets,” she said. “As an educator, my greatest aim and dream is for pupils to understand that no matter how young they are, they can set their minds to something and make a real impact.”

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