Second Graders Seek Help for Shelter Animals

Recently Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) second grade students attended three classes through the “Growing Kinder” Humane Education Program of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS). The program is founded by Jen Walker, an experienced animal welfare advocate and humane education specialist. The first session began with Walker guiding the students on a behind-the-scenes tour at the animal shelter. For their next couple meetings, Walker offered lessons at MMS with her cat, Guido, and dog, Moon.

Following these activities, the class made posters and wrote a group letter and presented it to other MMS students, to encourage them to make donations to the SCCAS. In addition, the second grade wrote personal letters to their 6th and 11th grade ‘big buddies’ asking them to get involved and help.

“The thread that weaves through these activities is responsible stewardship for all, for animals both domestic and wild, and other people, as well as for the world around us,” comments Walker.

Second grade teacher Jenni Leach says her class’ work on the SCCAS Project was a great learning tool on several levels:

“This is the second annual animal shelter social service project for my class. I decided to make the SCCAS our social service project as it followed our life science curriculum perfectly. I was able to integrate all subject areas through the animal shelter unit including language arts, math, science, social studies and art. Many of the students have adopted pets or made donations before so the project was meaningful to them. My goal was to continue to foster the children’s innate desire to help others and make a difference in their community and the world.”

The second grade will continue collecting donations for the SCCAS through April 13. Donations can be brought in after Spring Break to either the upper campus office or elementary bus stop. Please consider making a donation. Here is the Second Grade’s appeal:

Growing Kinder- Our Santa Cruz Animal Shelter Report

In our second grade class, we learned about the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter. We went on a behind-the-scenes tour at the SCCAS and learned what it takes to care for the animals there. We learned that the animal shelter takes in over 7, 000 domestic animals a year. Most of the animals are strays, found wandering the streets. The rest are animals given up by their owners, or taken away from people who aren’t properly caring for them. We saw the kennels and cages where the animals live, the room where they are washed and groomed, the laundry room and the storage areas. It takes a lot of people, supplies and money to care for all the homeless pets.

Jen Walker, our tour guide and animal educator, taught us about cats and dogs. She told us some stories about the animals that live at the shelter, how they came to the shelter and how they need homes. She said the reason there are so many pets needing homes is because there is an overpopulation problem. She taught us the history of cats and dogs and how humans made different breeds for different purposes. Because people let pets breed and have babies, we now have too many. The shelter spays and neuters all the animals there. All the pets at the shelter are loved and cared for, but they would all be happier in homes.

We are inviting you and your families to help the pets at the SCCAS by donating with our second grade class. Your donations will help the dogs, cats, rabbits, goats and other domestic animals live happier lives during their stay at the shelter. If you are interested in adopting a pet, please see their website or visit the shelter. You can also foster a pet and give it a home for awhile. The shelter needs; pet food, pet treats, pet toys, collars and leashes, pet beds, blankets, and dog chews. If you would like to make money donations, please do so directly to the shelter. Thank you for helping the second grade class take care of the homeless pets at the SCCAS.

– Thank you, from the MMS second grade class.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Marketing & Communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.





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