Woodlake Elementary’s National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) members and Talented and Gifted teacher, Mrs. Kirstin Caldwell, volunteer for a community service project every year. As part of being a member of NEHS, students are required to have at least 20 hours of community service. This year the NEHS students decided to conduct a donation drive for San Antonio Pets Alive and Alamo City Pitbull Rescue and Rehabilitation (ACPBRR). Mrs. Rachelle Diaz, an RTI teacher is a foster for ACPRR; therefore, coordinated Woodlake’s first Literacy on a Leash project with the ACPBRR sponsors, Traci Bell, Jolie Zook and Izzy Norwood on March 8, 2017.
The Literacy on a Leash project afforded students an opportunity to read to rescued puppies and an adult dog sponsored by ACPBRR. This student led project instilled a greater sense of empathy in the students and promoted reading fluency, all while preparing the dogs for their forever home ultimately making them more adoptable.
Literacy on a Leash was a huge success for everyone involved. The NEHS received over 80 donations for ACPBRR ranging from blankets, food, toys, and puppy pads. Foster moms and RTI teachers, Rachelle Diaz and Connie Carey, brought five puppies to school for the students to read some of their favorite stories to them. Mrs. Izzy Norwood also brought her rescued adult dog, Cade, who has earned his Canine Good Citizen certificate. The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior.
The following day on March 9th, Ms. Jolie Zook and Ms. Traci Bell, co-founders of ACPBRR, were presented with the donations from NEHS members. Ms. Zook and Ms. Bell in turn presented helpful tips on how to approach homeless/loose dogs in their neighborhoods. They also spoke about the care of animals and how to become future foster parents of animals at ACPBRR. In addition, each student received a goodie bag and literature containing locations for low cost spay and neuter, microchipping, and information about their website.