PCES students raise money for local animal rescue
A student-led initiative at Putnam County Elementary School (PCES) has raised $160 for the Illinois Valley Animal Rescue (IVAR), according to a release from the village of Hennepin.
Fifth-grade students Maggie Spratt, Madison Wasilewski, Hannah Taliani and Kaden Nauman approached their principal, Courtney Balestri, with a desire to give back, which led to a donation drive at the school, according to the release.
“They had several ideas and we helped scale it down to what we thought we could realistically accomplish,” Balestri said in the release. “It was a teachable moment as they were forced to consider the many details of what would have to be done in order to reach their goal.”
Balestri helped the students organize a drive for donations on a class basis. She also donated the prize to award the class with the highest donations – letting the students throw a pie in her face.
In addition to seeing a pie thrown into their principal's face during an assembly, students heard from IVAR volunteer John McKirgan and meet Laya, a two-time rescue dog that McKirgan adopted.
“I like getting the kids to enjoy the dogs and when they see a bit of the sadder side of pets, it helps give hope for the future because they’ll see how important their compassion is and that they can make a difference,” McKirgan said in the release.
The money the students raised will go toward providing medical care to the shelter's cats and dogs.