Washougal students create toys, blankets for animals
First-grade students at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School (CHSES) learned the joy of giving last month by creating toys and blankets for dogs and cats residing at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society (WCGHS) in Washougal.
“This experience was about empathy and caring for those less fortunate, in this case animals,” CHSES first-grade teacher Darcy Hickey said in a news release issued by the Washougal School District. “The students have been so excited for this project. It has become a first-grade tradition at CHS.”
Students in first-grade classes taught by Taryn Tedford and Nichol Yung also participated.
Cathi Parent, WCGHS’ community engagement manager, came to CHSES to collect the gifts and talk with students about the shelter and their animals. She discussed ways that cats and dogs end up at the shelter, the foster program, success stories for animals and volunteer activities. She also brought Purrgie the cat, a 3-year-old tabby, who was a big hit with students.
“We love seeing children and youth of any age wanting to get involved in helping their local community and give back,” Parent said in the news release. “Their interest in helping animals is very heartwarming. Many of these pets may have come from unwanted homes or were strays and never knew real love before. Living in a shelter situation, even though they are being taken very good care of and loved on by volunteers, can still be stressful. Having items like the blankets and toys that were made by the students can help make their time at the shelter that much better.”
Students also learned about the importance of microchipping pets in case they get lost, spaying and neutering to control the pet population and the process they go through to help pets get adopted. Parent made sure students were calm, quiet and moved slowly as they approached Purrgie, who let anyone who wanted to meet her provide ear rubs, back scratches and pets.
“The project also helps to meet a Washington State standard in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL),” Hickey said. “This work provides an opportunity for students to consider others and show a desire to contribute to the well-being of our community.”
SEL is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life.
First-grader Jojo Stevenson had fun making blankets and toys for the animals.
“I hope these gifts make them happy,” she said. “I want them to stay warm and stay alive.”
The timing of this challenge was not a coincidence.
“We wanted to send kids off on their two-week break thinking about the joy of giving and that giving of yourself can bring as much joy and excitement as receiving,” Hickey said. “We are so proud of these students.”
Washougal students selected for honor bands
Washougal School District (WSD) students have been selected to all-state music ensembles.
“Each year, many Washougal School District high school and middle school band students apply to be a part of regional and state honor bands,” according to a news release issued by the WSD. “These bands select the top musicians from the region or state, and students spend several days together rehearsing and performing under the baton of conductors from major universities and professional ensembles.”
The following Washougal students have been chosen to be a part of the ensembles:
Washington Music Educators Association All-State Honor Groups: Amara Farah, clarinet (Chamber Orchestra); Barret Hemminger, trumpet (Wind Symphony).
Pacific Lutheran University Northwest High School Honor Band: Amara Farah, clarinet; Thomas Hein, trumpet; Grace Jacobsen, trumpet; Matthew Condon, trombone; Lexi Kneipp, flute; William Weihl, percussion.
North County Honor Band: Amara Farah, clarinet; Thomas Hein, trumpet; Grace Jacobsen, trumpet; Braxden Zumwalt, trumpet; Lexi Kneipp, flute; Mary Lendvoyi, flute; William Weihl, percussion; Spencer Perkins, percussion; Jace Poulsen, percussion; Hunter Thacker, baritone saxophone; Hayden Zumwalt, trombone; Avery Berg, alto saxophone; Kyler Buck, clarinet; Justin Bryden, trombone; Lorelie Peck, bass clarinet; Danica Stinchfield, French horn; Jacob Kettelson, euphonium; Barrett Justis, euphonium.
Lower Columbia River Music Educators Association Honor Band: Avery Berg, alto saxophone; Avri Kaufman, oboe; PJ Hopmeier Mitchell, euphonium; Lukas Sanders, trumpet; Kyler Buck, clarinet; Bentley Jarman, baritone saxophone; Joseph Yantis, bass clarinet; Claire Zakovics, flute; Emily Wade, clarinet; Kacee Kearney, flute; Seth Dodenhoff, bass clarinet; Tanner Lowe, trumpet.