Elementary students raise funds for furry friends

Raising funds and supplies for important issues sometimes seems like an insurmountable task, but students from several Denton ISD schools found it easy to do when the benefactors are furry friends.

Students from Cross Oaks, E.P. Rayzor, Evers Park, McNair, Nelson and Newton Rayzor elementary schools all raised funds or supplies for the city of Denton’s Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center, which recently opened. E.P. Rayzor, McNair and Nelson raised more than $360, $550 and $700, respectively, and received a visit from the center’s staff and some of its animals.

Tatiana Johnson, a fifth-grader at Nelson, said students at his school were very involved in the fundraising process.

“We started talking about [the fundraiser] during our school announcements, and we all started bringing in quarters as we were trying to raise the most money,” he said. “It was pretty amazing — I like the fact that we’re helping pets.”

Nelson students were incentivized to bring quarters by receiving a paper cutout of a golden paw for each donation. Jonathan Mendez, also a fifth-grader at the school, said he and his classmates helped cut out the golden paws to be a bigger part of the fundraising effort.

“Mrs. Biggs [our fifth-grade student council sponsor] taught us how to make them and we all volunteered to start cutting them out,” he said. “I really want to visit [the center] because I love pets.”

Students from Denton ISD schools raised well over $1,500 in funds and more in supplies for the new animal shelter.

At McNair, third-grade students raised their funds through a “marketplace” project, where they learned about how money is exchanged.

“This was our culminating activity when it came to studying the free enterprise system,” said Amy Collins, a third-grade teacher at the school. “The children decided to donate all their money — their profits — to the Denton animal shelter. They raised over $550, and we’re very proud of the students.”

In addition to the financial support provided by McNair and Nelson, supplies were donated by Cross Oaks, Evers Park and Newton Rayzor. The Destination Imagination team from Cross Oaks even used the center as the focus of its community service challenge, gathering supplies and focusing on raising awareness for the problem of overpopulation of stray or sheltered animals in Denton County.

As a result of all the donations, animal care center staff said they’ll be able to ensure animals are healthy and have the necessary food, toys and supplies before finding homes. Animals can be adopted at the center, located at 3717 N. Elm St. in Denton, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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