It started with a couple of coins a student gave Nancy Cole, a third-grade teacher at Empire Elementary School.
She knew she wanted to put the money toward a good cause and, at the same time, involve her students. As the owner of a rescue dog herself, she chose an organization already dear to her heart, the Carson Animal Services Initiative.
“I very much wanted to do something positive for the animals in our valley,” she said. “This was a perfect fit for me and an opportunity to show them that kids really can make an impact in their own community.”
The third-graders came in with their coins, often giving up quarters they’d saved to buy pencils, Cole said. Counting up all the change in the pink porcelain pig, it came to $37.45.
“I like animals really good,” said Danny Cazares, 9.
On Wednesday, they donated the sum of their collection to CASI, which is raising money to build a new animal shelter in town.
“I didn’t want the animals to die in the street,” said Luis Martinez, 9.
While the donation will put a small dent in the $2 million needed to build the shelter, chairwoman Lisa Schuette said it is just part of what students throughout the district have done to help, including senior projects at Carson High School and a leadership class fundraiser at Carson Middle School.
“What’s really so wonderful about this is kids are seeing they can make a difference,” Schuette said.