Students in the Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) Program at Prescott Valley School Organize 3-Week Supply Drive for Central Arizona Animal Search and Rescue
The Students Collected and Donated a Large Selection of Much-Needed Items that were on CAASR’s Wish List
(PRESCOTT VALLEY, Arizona)—Since its inception, the Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) Program at Prescott Valley School has strived to make both the school and the community a better place. The 23 sixth through eighth graders who are currently part of the PAL Program do a lot of community service and are devoted to helping others.
Recently, the PALS had the opportunity to help some of the area’s four-legged residents. As PALS advisor Jody Dietzel said, the students reached out to Central Arizona Animal Search and Rescue (CAASR), to help them fulfill their wish list of much-needed items.
CAASR was started to help rescue lost and abandoned pets, as well as rescue pets who need forever homes. The organization has a cat and dog food bank and has an on-going need for donations and other supplies.
“We conducted the drive for about 3 weeks and collected quite a few items,” Dietzel said, adding that CAASR is run by volunteers.
PVS families and students got busy gathering up a number of items, including several pet carriers that were near the top of CAASR’s wish list, leashes, blankets, towels, dog beds and cat and dog food.
Once the donation drive was completed, Dietzel said members of CAASR came to the school to collect the items. They brought along two dogs—Apollo, who is trained for “scent” search and rescue and Angel, a younger dog who is currently in training. Volunteers from CAASR showed the students how they search with the dogs and how they can smell the leash or collar of a lost pet and then use the scent to locate the animal.
Dietzel said she and the students loved meeting the dogs and learning more about how they do their important search-related work. The members of the PAL Program also enjoyed taking part in the donation drive.
“My Dad and I donated a 50 pound bag of dog food. It made me feel good that I was doing something for the community,” said Laureli Potter, a sixth grader at PVS and member of the PAL Program.
“I felt great about helping this rescue group. I got to meet the search dogs, and doing this made me grow as a person and as a citizen,” said sixth grader Monica Mata Zepeda.
The fact that the members of the PAL Program would spend time collecting needed items for missing and rescued pets is all part of the students’ interest in becoming a part of a helping group.
“PALS address personal and social concerns in a variety of ways,” Dietzel said.
“We learn to help ourselves and help others with problems and ways to solve them. The main components of PAL are caring, listening, tutoring, conflict management, new student orientation, information, referral and community service. They learn to value themselves and, in the process, learn to value others,” Dietzel said.
Dietzel said the volunteers at CAASR were delighted with the donations, as were the PALS who took part in the 3-week supply drive.
“We were thrilled with the positive and generous response to the PALS supply drive and really enjoyed giving the donated items to CAASR,” she said.