What is going well? What are you proud of and what are some of the highlights so far? Any obstacles? How did you overcome them?
This semester in Care for Paws we had many different accomplishments and highlights that I am proud of. We followed through without the initial goal of doing an anti-animal tourism pledge that we started a few years ago, and we also came up with a brand new concept of an “Animal Support Week”. During this week, we made it similar to a school virtual spirit week where there were different days which people had to do something to support animals, leading up to Friday, which is “Sign the Pledge” where everyone is signing out Anti Animal Tourism Pledge. This was one of the largest highlights so far this semester. To start off, we sought permission to do this event, we started writing the Anti Animal Tourism Pledge (editing last year’s one), and we also decided which were going to be the days in the spirit week. We decided to have this spirit week from January 11th to 15th, and we selected each of the days on the animal support week. To advertise for this, I made the following poster:
To publicize, we put this on our school bulletin, and weekly newsletter to help spread the word. I also emailed the secondary principal, the service coordinator, and the primary principal to get permission to continue the event, and I also invited the primary school to participate so we could all join in. Next, for each day of the Animal Support Week, I created an individual padlet for the day, so that on each day people could add their own post to fit the day’s theme (With a little description regarding what the “challenge” is for the day). Next, after discussing in our service meetings, we thought it would be a cool idea to create a website to advertise and give ideas and inspiration for the animal support week for each day.This was a very new and exciting thing for me, as apart from my CAS blog, I have never directly made or navigated an entire website before (With multiple slides and panels). This was a really new learning experience for me, and I looked up a tutorial online to try and better my skills at making a website. Itwas a little challenging at first, but after a little bit of experimentation, I got better and was more familiar with the process. On our website, we decided to have a page for each day, with examples and little ideas for what people could post on the padlets for each day. The link to the final website we made is over here: https://sites.google.com/osc.l…
I found our website really cool, and I and really proud of my whole service group for coming together to make this happen. We decided that everyone had to contribute at least one thing or add one mini idea to the website to develop it as much as possible. Personally, I added a “Meet Our Team” section (with the names of all our service members), multiple youtube videos for meat-free and vegan breakfast and lunch meals, some example photos and videos of dogs and cats (my pets) for Tuesday, some drawings from my family friends of their own pets, and I infused the pledge onto the Friday section. Then, I also added directlinks to all the padlets that I made (so they can directly access them), and I added a “Challenge” for each day, so people know exactly what they need to post. I have attached screenshots from the website we all made. I think the reason that this was really successful was because all of us worked together collaboratively on the website, and we all tried our best to all contribute anything we could. This is how it got so detailed, and I am really proud of our service group for achieving this.
Here are some more pages from our website:
Finally, we completed the Animal Support Week. Everyone participated a lot, with many posts on each of the padlets. I was very proud of my service group, and all of the hard work we took to make this event happen. Since there were so many cool ideas we came up with for the days, (and since I sent out a reminder email each day to nudge people to participate), there were so many posts from teachers and students of all ages. On our most popular padlet page, we had over 72 people post something on the padlet, and they also all interacted and commented on each other’s posts too. I will attach some photos of each padlet below, and here are the links to each day’s padlets:
Monday – Meat Free Monday: https://padlet.com/cgrandbois221/careforpawsmeatfreemonday
Tuesday – Show us your Pet: https://padlet.com/cgrandbois221/careforpawsshowusyourpets
Wednesday – Draw Your Pet: https://padlet.com/chloegrandbois13/careforpawsdrawyourpetoranimal
Thursday – Help an Animal: https://padlet.com/chloegrandbois13/careforpawshelpananimal
Friday – Sign the Pledge: https://padlet.com/chloegrandbois13/signthepledge
However, the thing I was the happiest about, and what I consider to be the biggest highlight we have had so far is the number of people who signed our moral obligation to not do animal tourism (our Anti-Animal Tourism Pledge). We had 24 people do a padlet post about signing the pledge. However, on the pledge itself, we had exactly 70 members of our school community sign the pledge. I think this makes a real difference in animal tourism as if people’s families happen to plan a trip which involves animal tourism, there are 70 people who may reconsider, and remember the harms (as listed and described on our pledge), regarding animal tourism, and convince their parents and families not to participate. I think this was a big impact we made on our community, and I am proud of us for accomplishing this.
However, despite the end success, there were many different obstacles that we faced to complete this and get it done. The main obstacle (in my opinion), was to get people to participate in the first place (as we did all of this during online school, and it was challenging for us to get people to know about this, and participate). Usually, in school, we would print out many different posters and hang them up around the whole school. This was a very successful way to raise awareness about an event, and it really helped people to get to know what is happening. However, since we couldn’t do this (as we are currently doing online school), we had to come up with more creative and different ways to publicize our “Animal Support Week”. Instead of just sending out one email to the community, we decided to make a poster and put it both in the daily bulletin and weekly newsletter. I think this was more successful, as people are more likely to not see/”miss” an email than a poster (which is more visually appealing), that they are shown every morning. This was mainly how we overcame the obstacle of not being able to publicize in person. Additionally, to remind people directly each morning, I sent out an email to the whole school to remind them to participate on each individual day (which helps people who have the tendency to forget to participate). I think this also helped us overcome this obstacle. Another obstacle we had was that it was difficult to fill out every day on our website, with sufficient information and ideas to inspire people to participate. At first, only our service supervisor (Ms. Francemone), was the only one participating and contributing to building the website. However, after we had our meeting we discussed working on the website over the Christmas/mid-year break, and we gave ourselves a deadline to finish the website. This really helped us to get information in. Additionally, we came up with a “rule” that every service member had to add at least one “idea” to the page, to contribute towards filling out the whole website. This was a good idea, as it helped more people add something, and it made it much easier for us to fill out the whole website.
This Animal Support Week (although only being one small aspect of this year), was our main highlight so far, and although we had to overcome many obstacles to finish it, it was definitely worth it in the end, as we got many people to participate, and sign our Pledge!
LO2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process A new challenge may be an unfamiliar experience or an extension of an existing one. The newly acquired or developed skills may be shown through experiences that the student has not previously undertaken or through increased expertise in an established area.
LO3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience Students can articulate the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences. This may be accomplished in collaboration with other participants. Students may show their knowledge and awareness by building on a previous experience, or by launching a new idea or process.
LO4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.
LO5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively Students are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.
LO6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally.
LO7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.