Students give presents to animals instead of themselves

NEW CASTLE – Instead of exchanging gifts with each other this year in their classroom, teacher Melissa Whiting’s second graders gave gifts to homeless cats and dogs.

“Students brought in a variety of animal food to place under our classroom Christmas tree for animals at Angels of Assisi adoption center in Roanoke,” Whiting explained. “The idea originated from one of my students, Hannah Clark, who explained it in her own words to her classmates who were very enthusiastic about the suggestion.”

McCleary Elementary second graders collected pet food and toys instead of giving gifts to each other at Christmas. Student Hannah Clark and her family delivered the food and toys to Angels of Assisi pet shelter in Roanoke. Photo by Melissa Whiting

Students not only brought in dog and cat food, but also treats and some pet toys.

At the classroom party, the second graders made doggy biscuits out of peanut butter and oatmeal, assisted by Hannah’s mother, Chris Ratliff, and other classroom parents.

Ratliff delivered the food to Angels of Assisi, as well as the dog treats that Angels of Assisi staff said would be placed in the animal cages on Christmas Eve as a special treat.

Angels of Assisi has a special “Biscuit Fund” set up to collect funds to feed the animals, Whiting added.

Here is the recipe the second graders used to make dog treats:

No Bake Dog Treats

1/2 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup oatmeal

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the above and add water to reach the desired consistency. The mix should be similar to the thickness of play-dough. Roll the dough into shapes (suggestions: balls and bones) onto parchment paper and let dry overnight. Your doggy will love them!