Third Graders Raise Money for Palm Springs Animal Shelter

Kamari Esquerra

“It’s super exciting. It’s really nice to see that the kids in the community are so proactive to wanting to support what we do here locally,” said Rhoda Coscetti of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

What started out as a book about a dog in need, lead a third-grade class at Katherine Finchy Elementary School to do what they can to help animals in their community. 

“This started out as just a small project,” said Barbara Cruz, a third-grade teacher at Katherine Finchy Elementary. “One of my students went to the book fair and brought us a book called ‘Can I Be Your Dog’”

“(In the book), there is a dog trying to be adopted and go to every house, and no one wanted to adopt him,” said Kendrick, one of Cruz’s students. 

“At the end, the author, Troy Cummings, writes how you can help get dogs adopted- adopt, don’t shop- and one of them was to make donations,” said Cruz. 

Left with a desire to make a difference, the students, with the help of their teacher, created their own action plan. 

“We started about reading a book ‘Can I Be Your Dog’, and then we thought of doing this little project of drawing the dogs, making a little letter for the animal shelter and donating money to the animal shelter so they can buy resources for the dogs and kittens,” said Melissa, a student in Cruz’s class. 

Ms. Cruz and her third graders raised money that they planned to donate to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. 

“So I said ‘Well, why don’t we each bring in $2 and that will be a $50 donation’,” said Cruz.  

The donation started with their class and quickly spread to the rest of the school and the community, far surpassing their $50 goal. 

“And the kids were so excited they started bringing in money- 5’s and 10’s and 20’s. I was like ‘Wow this is getting big… Why don’t we give the whole school an opportunity to donate’,” said Cruz. “We raised over $700”

Today, the third graders, alongside their teacher and family members, delivered the money, their banner, letters.., and pictures to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. The students even got a special treat of their own, an opportunity to meet all of the shelter animals. 

On World Kindness Day, the students are showing the community that you are never too young to make a difference.

“It feels really good because some animals don’t really have homes and I’m happy the Palm Springs Animal Shelter is bringing the dogs so they can find their forever home,” said Melissa. 

“I’m just so proud of them,” said Cruz. “With everything we’ve all been through, they’ve really come through. They’re amazing, they’re generous, just the kindest hearts.”

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