Eighth graders help get SPCA dogs adopted
Rather than writing an essay to learn about persuasive techniques, Robyn Hannan’s eighth grade language arts students spent an afternoon at the Lycoming County SPCA filming six dogs to create a three-minute commercial to help them get adopted.
The Williamsport Area Middle School students split into six groups and filmed the dogs using iPads. They are to show the dog’s personality and talk about what kind of owner would be best suited for each one.
“We are trying to make the dogs look as adoptable as possible so they don’t have to stay here,” Jaiden Kinley, 13, said.
Happy, the dog he worked with, was shown being playful, approachable and good with kids, he said.
It is more than a project, he said it is about getting the dogs adopted.
“It is a public project, it’s not just a grade,” Whitney Felix, 13, said. “It will have an outcome, we’re actually working toward a goal rather than a grade.”
The students are doing something good by assisting the organization to get dogs who have been there for a while, she said.
She filmed the dog, Raymond playing fetch, being loving and running around. She said she wanted to show the audience he would be a good fit for someone who enjoys hiking and trail running.
Hannan has been volunteering at the SPCA for 12 years and came up with the idea to do the commercial with Mindee Lyon, SPCA development director. They thought the commercial could be a good experience for the students and for the organization.
Her students are making something tangible that is going to have an effect on someone beyond themselves, she said. That those who see the commercial could be persuaded to adopt one of the dogs.
“They are doing something for others, you can’t teach that, you have to experience it,” she said.
The eighth graders will get to see an end result from their work which does not always happen in school, Hannon said.
Through the project they will hopefully see the fruit of their labor.
The staff at the SPCA enjoy working with school-age kids, especially if they are coming up with something new to contribute to the organization, Lyon said.
“We definitely wanted to showcase the dogs and get them good exposure,” she said.
Using video rather than a still photo adds another dimension because people get to see them interact with the students, she said. The viewer gets to see the dog’s personality.
“They get to see what they’d be like in the home,” Lyon said.
The students are going to take two weeks to edit the footage then put it out on Facebook and the district website.