One of the highlights of my oldest daughter's 8th grade year has been her Social Studies class. A year-long assignment (given by Mr. Smith at Horizon Middle School) has given her a new view and confidence, as she took what she loves and turned it into a community-helping venture.
Mr. Smith's assignment was "Service Learning". Each student has been required to give 8 volunteer hours to a local charity/non-profit, a tri-mester. McKensie loves animals! I suggested she volunteer at a local animal shelter, so she could use that love of caring for animals to help the community.
Since I'm friends with Gail Mackie, Executive Director of SpokAnimal, we went there first. She's been learning what happens at a shelter, the need that is out there and the importance of helping socialize the animals.
During her/our volunteer time (I had to volunteer alongside her, as she is under 16 years old) we learned about "fostering". There are many animals that are too young, underweight or not well enough to be adopted out right away.