Kids Care Club at Bethke Elementary teaches students to give back locally

Every month, a group of Bethke students gets together to do something nice for others.  

In the past, the "Kids Care Club" has visited nursing homes, created art for the FoCo Café, and learned about the March of Dimes. This month, they heard a special presentation from the Larimer Humane Society.  

"We usually have a guest speaker come from the organization we're learning about, then we try to create something we can give to them," first grade teacher Jenna Simpson explained.  

After learning about the importance of helping animals to stay mentally stimulated during their time at the shelter, the students got to work creating dog treats out of cardboard toilet paper rolls and cat toys out of yarn.  

"We're making toys for dogs and cats because sometimes they don't have toys and feel a little bored," student Mercedes said as she drew bright orange hearts on a cardboard roll.  

The project helps students learn about community organizations and ways they can help out locally. They develop a broader perspective about the world that later enriches classroom learning, Simpson said.  

"It's wonderful that kids can start acting upon their compassion for animals at a young age," Lauren Parsons, volunteer Humane Education Coordinator said. "If we teach kids now that animals should be protected, not abused or neglected, they can share that information with their friends and later on in life be the ones to provide that care."  

At end of the hour, the students had created enough toys and treats to cover an entire desk.  

"We're going to make sure the dogs are happy and have fun and get a treat," student Katie said with a smile.