Erin Linn’s class of 20 third-graders at Durham’s Central Park School for Children held a dog treat bake sale that raised more than $2,000 for the Animal Protection Society of Durham. The students selected their cause as a group, made the treats, and tallied up the earnings.

How did you all decide to raise money for stray animals specifically?

Nora: We started out on Mondays, with a class called current events, and we split into four different groups, I think, because we wanted to help with different things. And I think the four topics we chose were climate change, people with COVID-19 in the hospital, endangered animals, or stray animals.

Judah: We did a vote from all of all the ideas we had. So then this one won, and then we also decided what to do. First, we [picked] dog toys and cat toys, dog treats, and stuff like that, and we were gonna do all of them but then we realized it was really hard so we just did dog treats.

Erin (teacher): Originally, we wanted to have a real bake sale. We have a really fun club that meets every Wednesday called Cooking and Baking Club. We really like food in this class, and we were thinking it would be fun to have a real bake sale, but after talking to the parents, and realizing that during COVID, it might not be the safest option for us to make food that human people would eat, that we would maybe stick to just treats that dogs can eat.

How did you all feel when Erin told you how much money you raised?

Adriana: We felt excited, because we really wanted to help. We really wanted to donate money.

Erin (teacher): Our original goal was $1,000, and we’ve now exceeded $2,000. So we doubled our goal which is really, really, really cool. We even did all the math calculations.

What would you tell other kids who want to make a difference in their communities?

Rowan: I would say just work hard, and I think it’s a little easier if you do it in a group, and you take your time. But it’s really worth it at the end.

What did you all learn from this experience?

Eli: A few things. First of all, that dog treats are really easy to make. Second of all, it’s not super hard to do a Zoom, working together, if you’re all on the same page, which we were. So it was really fun and I think that I learned that it’s better to do it with a group than just try and do it by yourself.

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