Carla, left, and Tiffany Hopkins with their son Eli along with their new addition Evie Lou Hopkins. Submitted photo

HALLOWELL — Day of Caring at Hall-Dale Elementary School is a win-win for everyone. When a group of philanthropic fourth-grade students found out that Day of Caring was on Oct. 28 they put their plan into motion. They wanted to do a bake sale at the school to raise money for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society.

Principal Sara Derosby met with the students weeks before to plan the event. “This group of fourth-grade students brought a creative idea to coordinate a bake sale. Not only did they learn the importance of giving back but they also learned valuable lessons in entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and pet adoption,” said Derosby, according to a news release from Kelly Byron, education liaison for Regional School Unit 2. They sold their goods to students and staff for a week and raised well over $700.

This experience provided students with valuable life lessons in the importance of giving back, but provided other learning experiences as well. When Executive Director Hillary Roberts accepted the students’ donation on behalf of the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, they also learned another important message of creating a kinder community by nurturing the animal-human bond.

Roberts brought Hallie, a mixed breed from the shelter, to Hall-Dale. The fourth graders learned about the shelter, what to do if they find a lost pet and also the importance of spaying and neutering. Ironically enough, pre-K teacher Tiffany Hopkins was watching this lesson take place outside of her classroom window on the playground and couldn’t resist. Once Tiffany saw Hallie, she instantly made a connection. Roberts can proudly report that Hallie was adopted by Tiffany and her family. The students witnessed, first hand, how important their work is and learned the full-circle value of their contributions for both animals and humans in their community.

“Working collaboratively with local organizations helps foster a greater understanding of the importance of community within our schools,” said Byron. It was a happy ending for all.



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