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Lower School Assembly Celebrates Yearlong Service Project

Rudy Brandl

The Lower School celebrated its successful yearlong service project supporting the Edison Animal Shelter with a special assembly last week in the Berry Performing Arts Center. Students representing various grades shared the many ways in which their classes contributed to this extensive project and helped many pets find new homes.

Ms. Katherine Heiss, third grade teacher, and Mrs. Jen Molloy, first grade teacher, led the assembly and welcomed the audience, which included Edison Animal Shelter Coordinator Ed Dobrosky and Animal Control Officer Maria Flores. They invited students on stage to share highlights of their work throughout the year. In addition to every grade level, all the specialist teachers in art, STEM, Spanish, music and the Girls on the Run organization participated. 

Specific examples of contributions to the project include creating posters, making treats, biscuits and toys, writing stories and making videos to convince people to adopt pets, crocheting items for sale to make a donation to the shelter, and of course the big Barksgiving Pet Drive back in November. 

Sara McDermott, Lower School art teacher, also announced the winners of a contest advocating for animals through art. Three Lower School students will have their artwork professionally printed and put on display at the Edison Animal Shelter. Congratulations to Austin Li ’31, Grace Gonnella ’31 and Kristine Skyers ’31. 

Ms. Heiss closed with some impactful words that guided the students in this yearlong initiative: “Always care about creatures great and small and there are always animals that need to be loved.” 

Thanks to the efforts of our Lower School students, 13 animals have been adopted: Penny, Clarence, Riley, Hunter, Malachai, Karla, Gus, Andrew, Pumba, Fridley, Brownie, Grizelda and Coal.

“Congratulations to our entire Lower School for the phenomenal work and contributions to Edison Municipal Animal Shelter,” said JohnEric Advento, Lower School Head. “Major highlights were the students' projects. Our guests loved that the students shared all of their incredible writing, artwork, videos, songs and more. This service learning project that spanned the entire year brought our entire Lower School community together. Thank you again!”