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Third-graders team up for furry friends

Lexington, SC - The generosity of one Lake Murray Elementary student inspired others to join her in collecting donations for man’s best friend.

A writing assignment prompted third-grader Aashna Paregi to share her love of dogs and her concern that not all of Lexington County’s dogs have forever homes. When she shared what she wrote, classmate Hannah Vitters suggested they do something about it. Fellow students Lauryn Grubbs, Kennedy Stauffer and Sophie Taylor joined the cause to help the dogs at the Lexington County Animal Services shelter.

Seeing the girls’ sincerity, third-grade teacher Amanda Kneece set up a meeting with Principal Jennifer Stanley and Assistant Principal Leisa Clamp for the girls to pitch the idea of including the entire school in a donation drive. The administrators, with assistance from school counselors Julie Gies and Julie Shealy, helped the girls narrow down their ideas.

The girls spent the next few recess periods in the classroom formulating a plan for a drive and creating posters that would encourage all students to donate to the shelter. Additionally, the girls wrote a script and taped a PSA with assistance from Media Specialist Nan Ocheltree.

LMES’s donation drive ran from April 23 through May 4. Students and staff donated blankets, collars, leashes, food and toys, filling five large boxes. The girls and their parents will deliver donations to the Lexington County Animal Shelter.

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