On May 4th, 2018, the students from the North Middle School Public Achievement Club held a Pet Information Fair to raise awareness for Animal Rights in the community. The students organized this incredible event, which included multiple booths, a raffle, goodie bags, treats and lots of FUN! They invited various organizations with a passion for the fair and ethical treatment of animals, including PlayTime Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. The students and attendees then had the oppurtunity to chat with these organizations, and learn more about the services offered for animals in the community.
PlayTime Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers were honored to be asked to be a part of this event, and were astounded by the brilliance and passion of all the young minds we met that day. We got the chance to chat with Max Blackburn, the Public Achievement Coach, to learn more about the organization, and to reflect on what the students learned throughout the process of developing the Pet Information Fair.
What is the basis of the Public Achievement Club?
The Public Achievement Club teaches active citizen engagement in the community and was founded upon principles and ideas cultivated during the civil rights movement. Public Achievement works within schools all across the nation, bringing students together to address issues in their communities. When working in towards a project, Public Achievement focuses on the skills and knowledge that are developed through the process, and less on the actual finished product.
The students choose the topic of pets on their own accord. What were the goals of the Pet Fair, and what were some of the reasons the students chose this topic?
The young scholars in our club chose to focus on animal rights as one of the main topics. They chose animal rights because many of them have pets, and they feel that animal abuse happens in the Colorado Springs community. The goal of the Pet Fair was to increase the community’s awareness of the services offered, and of the abuse that happens all too often.
Did the students learn about the fair treatment of animals?
The students learned about the fair treatment of animals both through their own research and through talking with organizations such as Playtime Pet Sitters.
What was the most interesting aspect of the fair, from the student’s perspective? Did they learn something they didn’t know about? Has anyone expressed interest in learning more about a certain topic?
I think meeting adults that are spending their lives working for a good cause made quite an impression on the students. After a year of talking about the differences people can make in the world, seeing that up close was important for them.
How did the students prepare for the Pet Information Fair? What types of organizational and creative skills were employed to bring this event together?
Quite a lot goes into making any group effort work. From relationship building, topic research, power mapping, and recruiting partner organizations, the students in PA did it all. They worked on critical thinking and decision making, and discovered their own power to change the world.
PlayTime Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers gives the North Middle School Public Achievement Club FOUR PAWS UP!