COMBS — The fifth-grade class at A.B. Combs Elementary is taking up donations for the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter (KRRAS). It’s a part of their community and school service projects they will be doing this year. Large boxes have been placed around local stores to take up the donations.
The idea came to the fifth-grade class after reading “Wonder” in Mrs. Mindy Neace and Mrs. Marcia Ward’s classroom. Ward’s been teaching at A.B. Combs Elementary for 17 years.
“We started it after reading the novel “Wonder” and the theme of it was to be kind and choose kindness,” said fifth-grader Ben Mayhorn.
The items the students are taking up include 55-gallon trash bags, paper towels, cat litter, cleaning supplies for mopping, wet or dry dog food, and dog and cat toys.
Donation boxes are set up at Big Lots and both Save-A-Lot stores. Students at A.B. Elementary can also bring their donated items to school and drop them off at the donation box near the front office of the school. Donations will be accepted from Jan. 27 – Feb. 6.
The class decorated the boxes themselves, Ward said.
On Feb. 6, the students will drop off the donations at the animal shelter.
While preparing for the community service Ward said the students learned several new things about the animal shelter that they didn’t know before. A representative from the animal shelter stopped by the class to educate them on what the shelter does.
The students learned that the animal shelter helped 5,000 animals last year. They also learned the animal shelter serves four counties in eastern Kentucky, among many other facts.
The class sent letters home with every student at A.B Elementary outlining some of the items the animal shelter needs. The class will also create a Facebook video; the video will be available on KRRAS’s Facebook page.
“I consider it one of the greatest honors in my life to be called their teacher. They make me proud every single day in so many different ways. They are some pretty amazing kids and I love them,” said Ward.
Ward said after seeing how well they read to the younger students during Read Across America week, she felt comfortable turning them loose with the animal shelter project.
“Anything that these kids did wouldn’t surprise me. They are special kids, they’re really intelligent and for their age, they are really thoughtful,” said Ward.
She also mentioned how the students take care of one another and are supportive of each other.
“They are each other’s cheerleaders,” said Ward.
The class is divided into two groups; one group performs school service, while the other performs community service. The part of the class participating in the school service program is reading to the younger students in the school and teaching them lessons. They also perform activities with the younger students. The school service is once a month until the end of the school year.
“We have been reading little kids a book and teaching them a lesson,” said fifth-grader Paige Asher.
The other part of the class that is focused on community service will be visiting the Senior Citizens Center soon to have a game day with the residents there.
For more information on how you can donate to the animal shelter, please call 606-439-6064.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald. He can be reached at 606-629-3245.