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Lake Ridge students use artwork to raise money for WC/JC Animal Shelter

Lake Ridge Animal Shelter


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but students in the Lake Ridge STEAM class learned that their drawings can create change. The group used their talents to draw pictures of animals at the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter, and then they used those photos to raise $1,000 to donate to the shelter.

A group of gleeful Lake Ridge Elementary students from kindergarten to fourth grade joined their STEAM teacher Ryan Glenn to present the check on Thursday, April 7, at the animal shelter.

“I am super proud of my students,” Glenn said. “Their initiative and the way they took to this project, it was just really amazing to see. We had students that took time to draw pictures in class, but we also had students that went home and drew more pictures so that they could raise money for the animal shelter.”

Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter Executive Director Tammy Davis said that she was also proud and appreciative of the students.

“We were so excited when Mr. Glenn approached us about this idea because we love the idea of bringing the children and community together with the animal shelter,” Davis said. “The pictures were amazing, and the whole idea that he was teaching the students that they can give back to the community, and the animal shelter, we just love it.”

The idea blossomed from Glenn noticing how much his 7-year-old daughter and his students enjoyed drawing tutorials on YouTube. He downloaded the videos and linked them to the school’s STEAM Lab website, so students could easily watch the videos without all the ads and distractions of YouTube. He then downloaded all of the pictures of the animals that were currently up for adoption at the shelter and added their names to the pictures. The students then took time to draw the animals before giving them names from animals that were at the shelter.

Glenn added a QR code to each piece of paper that linked to the Paypal account for the shelter. That way, they could take their pictures home or out into their community and talk about the project while offering to trade their pictures for a donation to the shelter.

Lake Ridge 2nd-grader Grayson Clayton said he enjoyed raising money for the shelter in a fun way.

“I really enjoyed this project because we were able to raise money for the animal shelter and help the animals,” Clayton said. “It was fun to draw pictures and give people pictures that they may normally not get.”

While Glenn was proud of his students for their artwork, he was prouder that they wanted to use their time to strengthen their community.

“So much of it was motivated and driven by the kids,” Glenn said.  “The lesson wasn’t as much how to draw or focusing on the art it was about focusing on being resourceful with our time. My students learned that if you have an idea, you can use your time as a resource and we can use that to add value to our community.”

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