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Power of Persuasion: Feelhaver Students Visit Almost Home - from The Messenger

May 19, 2022

Fourth graders at Feelhaver Elementary School have spent recent weeks advocating for animals in need of forever homes.

The students recently read the book "Because of Winn-Dixie," a novel by author Kate DiCamillo that follows the story of 10-year-old Opal who adopts a stray dog whom she names Winn-Dixie. After reading the book and watching the 2005 movie, teachers Brenda Angstrom and Sue Nordstrom gave the students an assignment - persuasive writing.

"Some of them were trying to persuade families to become foster families for animals," Angstrom said. "Some were trying to persuade people to adopt and then another group was working on persuading people to donate to the animal shelter."

The students then began collecting dog and cat food, litter and toys and on Wednesday, the students visited the Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa. The classes split into groups, with some going back to the cattery to spend some time with the cats available for adoption.

Angstrom said she hoped the field trip would give the students exposure to some volunteer opportunities and needs in the community.

Fourth-grader Breylin Feeley said she was looking forward to meeting stray dogs and helping find them homes. She said the part of "Because of Winn-Dixie" that she remembers the most is when the dog got lost.

"It was kind of sad," she said.

For the persuasive writing project Feeley worked with a group that made posters to put up around their school and in various businesses around town to encourage people to donate to Almost Home.

"I would say collabing with them is a good thing because then they get more attention, because the animals don't get a lot of attention very often," she said.

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