Students at Mendive and Depoali Middle Schools partnered to use their writing skills on a project they have called “Saving a Life”. The Saving a Life project is a local adoption event hosted by these students. It is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 22 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Mendive Middle School in Sparks.
This project is focused on using informational writing, argumentative writing, and creative writing skills learned within the classroom to help local animals find permanent homes. Classrooms have been altered from desks in rows to a fully functional setting that allows for collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. Students use the classroom to design their project, plan and create rough drafts, and they have designated an ‘Outreach’ center for students to make calls to local businesses and agencies. Through this project-based learning style, students are given the opportunity to use their writing for real-life purposes by helping their local community.
Many of these animals have been hurt or sick and they deserve homes. Both schools are partnering with three local animal agencies to pull off this event. The SPCA of Northern Nevada, Res-Que, and the Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary (CRCS). Res-Que operates as a foster home for animals in need, and the CRCS focuses on rehabilitating animals with physical and social needs. Many of these animals have never learned to live properly in a home, so the CRCS has dedicated a facility towards helping to bridge these gaps. These dogs learn simple tasks such as going up and down stairs, how to properly walk on a leash, and behave in a mock living room setting.
Saving a Life adoption is unique in that it is being entirely planned and executed by the students, with their teachers Ken McCarthy (Mendive ELA & Leadership Teacher) and Tara Hartman (Depoali ELA Teacher) being used as a resource of information instead of a sole source of information. Students are required to plan their days, weeks, and months to attend workshops to sharpen their skills and apply what they have learned to real-world situations. The collaboration has moved from the walls of their own schools to the depths of the city. This project is taking education to the 21st century, and it will help students be able to experience the love and compassion in helping their communities.