WES Students Donate Dog Leashes

Photo Credit: Reg. Bennett of the Wells-Ogunquit CSD

Back in December of 2023, nineteen students of Wells Elementary School (WES) read a classic novel titled Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Inspired by the story of a stray dog adopted by a little girl, classroom teacher Pam Lear thought it would be an excellent opportunity for her students to practice empathy and help care for homeless pets in their own community. So, she and her classroom of fourth-graders came together with an idea to make homemade dog leashes to donate to adoptable pets right here at AWS!

Knowing that they would need many materials to make the leashes, Lear decided to open a GoFundMe page that helped raise the funds needed for the project. Once all the funds were in place, Lear purchased items like straps, grosgrain ribbons, leash handles, and metal clasps for the kids to use. Then, they all got to work!

Each leash took about an hour to make.

Students had to learn to hand sew as well as use a sewing machine to complete the leashes. Students had fun picking out the colors and designs for each leash and learning how their hard work would make a difference for the animals. After about a month, the project was complete!

Photo Credit: Reg. Bennett of the Wells-Ogunquit CSD

Amanda Zimmerman, our Youth Programs Coordinator here at AWS, was gifted the box of twenty customized leashes (as well as other donated pet items) to bring back to the shelter for our dogs. She was amazed at the quality of the work as well as the generosity of the students for taking the time to learn a new skill and help the pets of their community. Plus, Miss Amanda’s own dog, Teddy, was able to model one of the leashes for himself!

Empathy and kindness.

Since the completion of their project, the WES students were happy to learn that every leash went home with an adopted dog. It’s always donations from our youngest advocates that mean the most and we want to thank every student and their teachers who participated in making them. Our Youth Programs exist to teach children empathy and kindness, and it warms our hearts to know that that message shines through!

Thank you to the fourth-grade class of Mrs. Lear for their beautiful donation!