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A Life Lesson: School helps local animal shelters

By Nathan Pfau Army Flier Staff Writer
Fort Rucker | February 2, 2017

 The students and staff of Fort Rucker Primary School celebrated their 100th day in school for the year, but the day was far from ordinary when they got a chance to learn a life lesson –the importance of giving back. Students participated in an activity during their 100th day in session Jan. 26 that challenged their minds and provided a service to local animal shelters in the form of donations of more than 120 items of pet food, according to Yvette EstevesHurst, FRPS Spanish teacher and coordinator for the activity. "This is one way the primary school celebrates our 100th day in school," said the Spanish teacher. "Our school provides a setting that connects mathematical language and symbols to the everyday lives of their students," and through the event they were able to make that connection. The school is now guided by the College and Career Ready standards, and one way FRPS meets theses standards is by providing the children with activities that get their minds working, as well, said Esteves-Hurst. As the items of pet food were donated, the children were also focusing on problem solving and learning to count by 10s to decide how much food would go into each bag to be donated, which is a standard skill that they focused on for the grade, she said. "This activity helps students meet the standard (set forth)," she added. "When counting by ones, students need to understand that the next number in the sequence is one more. When counting by tens, the next number in the sequence is ten more, and so we have students verbally count the numbers in sequence by starting at one and count to 100 or counting by 10s." The food will be distributed to pet shelters throughout the community, including the Kitty Kottage in Dothan, Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary in Enterprise, the Dale County Humane Society in Ozark, All Breed Rescue and Adoption, and Lil' Tykes in Daleville, with donations continuing through Feb. 10. The activity began in 2006 as a means to integrate all areas of the curriculum and teach the children about giving back and working together, which has now become a traditional yearly event at the school, Esteves-Hurst said. The faculties' appreciation extends to the parents of the students for being so generous with their donations, because the event could not have been possible without their help. "Thanks to all of their donations, we collected 120 items of food for dogs and cats," she said.

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