Benton Elementary students Alyssa Welch, Paige Goodwin, Meara Flood and Abigail Taylor delivered $2,839.04 to the Humane Society Waterville Area on Jan. 10.

The students organized the Cause for Paws fundraiser as part of an “Effective Citizen” unit the sixth-grade teachers organize.

The teachers spent time going over how this might look in their own homes with their families, at school, in their community, and even how they can start being an effective citizen at the state and national level, according to a news release from Steffanie Stevens, a sixth-grade teacher at Benton Elementary.

To wrap up the unit, the students were given the opportunity to create their own project to show how the unit impacted them. The 20 students in Stevens class chose a variety of projects. Some made individual slide shows about pollution, the importance of opening and holding doors for one another, being mentors to younger children etc. Other students chose to volunteer their recess time every week to help the janitors or cafeteria staff and then later reflected on the positive impact they made.

Alyssa, Paige, Meara and Abigail felt very passionate about helping the humane society because they had heard that it was in fear of closing. They approached Stevens wanting to do a fundraiser and after meeting with them, Stevens realized how large scale they wanted it to be. Stevens explained to them the extensive amount of work that came along with a project like this and how it would need approval by Principal Brian Wedge. They blew him away with their presentation, according to the release.

The girls worked relentlessly to pull off a whole school fundraiser that lasted from Dec. 3 to 19. The fundraiser was a Penny Wars/Change Collection, where each classroom had a collection jar. They created posters, gave presentations to 31 classrooms, gathered the materials, created prizes for the top three classes and counted money each day during their recess.

The energy these girls brought out in the students and staff of our school was amazing! All the students in my class should be extremely proud of the heart they put into their citizenship projects! These little kiddos are our future and they are well on their way to making an incredible impact, Stevens said, according to the release.

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