GRAFTON—With a focus on outreach through more than just classroom studies, a group of Anna Jarvis Elementary School (AJES) teachers used a fun activity to help raise funds for some four-legged friends.
“We are focusing on our community this year, to let people know that not only are we passionate about teaching normal curriculum items like reading, math and science, but we want to help teach the importance of community,” said teacher Becky Lake.
To make this goal happen, the school has been divided into houses or groups, similar to those in popular novels and films of Harry Potter.
“We put a little West Virginia spin on the idea, and each of our houses are named for things popular to the heritage of the Mountain State,” explained teacher Leslie Cochran. “Our group is the Coal Miners.”
With a goal to get out and serve the community, the AJES Coal Miners held pajama day to help raise funds for a local organization that helps canine companions.
“We had a great response to our pajama day, and are thrilled to have raised $312.81 for the Taylor County Humane Society,” voiced Lake.
On Monday, the AJES Coal Miners made their way to the Taylor County Humane Society’s shelter to present them with a check.
“This is just great, and we are so appreciative,” conveyed Kelly Marshall, a member of the society. “This money will be used for the care of the dogs here at the shelter.”
During their visit, the teachers were treated to a tour of the facility, where they were able to meet all of the dogs currently awaiting their “furever” homes.
Some lucky pooches were treated to walks by the educators, as well as some extra pets and attention.
Cochran said that coming up with the idea of pajama day was both quick and easy, and the group knew it would be a success before it ever happened.
“Who doesn’t like pajama day? It’s simple, easy and fun,” she expressed. “We’ve had theme days, decade days and even days where we encourage students to wear a certain color or pattern, like camo, but everyone seems to really like pajama day. It seems like it has the most participation out of any of the others. Plus, you get to wear pajamas and comfy clothes to school!”
And the fun and community outreach won’t stop with raising funds for the Humane Society, according to Lake.
“You are going to see us out in the community doing various things at different events,” she disclosed “It’s all part of our push to let the community know how much the teachers, administration and staff at AJ care.”
In addition to attending Grafton’s October First Friday event, where they will be passing out glow sticks and Halloween Safety information, the Coal Miners will also be found serving up french fries, nachos, popcorn and candy at Friday night’s home Grafton High School Bearcats football game against Elkins.
“The game was originally scheduled to be played away but was moved home with little notice for the boosters to find folks to step in and work concession,” Lake noted. “So, we stepped in and told them it would be our pleasure!”
So, whether it’s helping a student learn to read or lending a helping hand in the community, the staffers of AJES, and especially the Coal Miners, are ready to make a difference.
“So, if you see us out in our red AJ shirts, be sure to come say hey,” said Cochran. “You never know where we might help out or show up next!”