As part of their hallmark character education program, North Star Academy elementary and middle school children have been raising money to support local shelter animals. “We are studying heroism in character education, and the students decided to partner with the Denver Dumb Friends League to put that heroism into practice,” says North Star Academy Principal Cynthia Haws.
In a school-wide contest, each NSA classroom was challenged to earn and donate money to the Dumb Friends League fundraising effort. “During all of our fundraising projects, we require that children bring their own money from savings or home chores—rather than encouraging parent contributions,” says Haws. “As a result, we have watched the children embrace responsibility and take ownership of these worthwhile projects.”
The school’s first grade contest winners will tour the Denver Dumb Friends League to see, firsthand, how their donations are put to use. This contest marks the second in the school’s effort to be a hero to animals. Last year, NSA children engaged in home and community fundraising efforts for the Seeing Eye guide dog school in Morristown, New Jersey. They raised $5,000 for the program, and had the opportunity to “name” a service puppy in training.
“Character education is truly one of the hallmarks of our school,” says Haws. “North Star Academy strives to blend academic excellence with social responsibility and service learning. As these children grow into young adults, it is our hope that they become school and community leaders—and individuals of uncompromising character.”
In addition to several awards for academic excellence, North Star Academy has received the Character Education Partnership’s Promising Practice Award, and has been named a State School of Character by the Foundation for Character Development.