A few years ago at Noble Middle School, an outdoor classroom was built as part of an Eagle Scout's final project. The benches are arranged in a semicircle near a mature tree. Although it is a nice space, the benches have become weathered since they did not have any kind of finish on them. We decided by voting to make a garden around this space and to paint the benches to protect them from further deterioration. As a means to raise funds for a local animal shelter, we want to have other students donate $1 to have their painted hand prints added to the benches. This will allow students to visibly "leave their mark" on Noble, to add interest to the benches, and most importantly, to raise money to help a local animal shelter.
We started by brainstorming ideas that we felt would be interesting projects that would address specific needs of our local community. We had a lot of good ideas and really wanted to help out at the local animal shelter. At first, we thought we would visit a local shelter and volunteer. However, after researching that option, we realized it was not possible. So we took up our second favorite project idea, which was to improve the outdoor learning center at our school. We have benches there (unpainted) and a shade tree, but it needed care and attention. We decided to paint the benches and someone suggested that we add hand prints. After thinking about it a little longer, we realized we could raise money by asking students to donate $1 to add their handprint to the benches. We could then use that money as a donation to our local animal shelter. Right now, the benches are painted and we are creating signs to add to the space to inform people of it's purpose as well as educate them about the International NGO Roots and Shoots! Next steps will be to put the signs in place, add our own handprints and then collect donations and handprints! We are excited to have a place at our school where other kids can "Pause 4 Paws"!