In 2018, North Dakota was ranked as one of the worst states for animal cruelty. The news led one local middle school to get their students involved in the fight against animal abuse.
More than fifty 8th-grade students at Simle Middle School have been using their homeroom free time to raise money for animal shelters.
Eighth-grade teacher, Jennifer Zacher, started the program over a year ago and says it has really opened her students’ eyes.
One of Zacher’s students, Kyler Morgan, says “North Dakota’s Animal Cruelty Laws are really bad. We really need to do something about that, but also if you have abused an animal and it’s just really cruel.”
Zacher tells KX she got the idea after volunteering at a local shelter. She wanted to teach her students about animal care and cruelty and let them know what they could do to be part of the change.
Her students took it one step further and started raising money for local shelters. Zacher says the experience has been a confidence builder for many students.
“The awareness it brings to the kids and the opportunities they have in their community to make a difference. A lot of times kids think because they are kids they don’t have a voice but they do and they have a very powerful voice,” says Zacher. “And they can really make a big impact in our community and so are all middle school kids being capable of doing great things.”
Last year they raised over $1-thousand for Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue and are in the process of raising even more for them.
Student, Caylee Krein says, “We are just giving half of it in just cash and half of it is just for further needs of the animals and other donations of what they need. It just heart warms me and makes me feel a lot better about myself and feel better about people like us that are still here and want to make a difference”
Zacher says many of her students have shown interest in becoming volunteers.