April 13, 2016


Students slowly filed into the gymnasium at Raymond F.
Brandes School 65, unaware of the surprise in store. Raising two fingers,
Principal Lauren Johnson asked her “Peace Warriors” to listen closely as she
welcomed their special guest. 


Ava, a 4-year-old dog, proudly pranced into the gym with her
owner – stirring up lots of giggles and smiles.


 Pennies for Paws


On April 13, the Brandes Bulldogs celebrated
their second year running the Pennies for Paws fundraiser, which supports the Humane Society of Indianapolis. One of
three major fundraisers of the school year, Pennies for Paws is always a hit
among students. This year, they raised more than $800 for the organization.


The partnership with the Humane Society certainly isn’t a
one-way street. The shelter educates students about the staggering number of
homeless animals in and around our city. Students also learn about the
commonalities between humans and animals, such as the feeling of happiness,
fear or sickness, as well as fulfilling basic needs like food, water and


As outlined in the Family
and Community
goals within IPS
Strategic Plan 2015
, we are dedicated in our efforts to create meaningful
and strategic partnerships that provide learning opportunities as well as
promote community engagement.


“I feel that being good stewards of planet Earth includes
taking care of one another, as well as the animals that are so much a part of
our communities,” said Johnson.


This year, the school’s 275 students collected $817.16. Johnson
presented a check to Ava and Humane Society reps, as well as a cart full of
food and supplies for the shelter.  


“The money will help buy food and vaccinations [for the
animals] to help them grow,” said Lee M., a Brandes 5th-grader.


 “The fundraiser
teaches students that together people can bring about positive changes in their
own community, whether it’s about people, the environment or homeless animals,”
said Johnson.