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CNS senior collaborates with fourth graders to promote dog adoption and volunteering

In an interactive display of community involvement and cross-generational collaboration, Nicole Mirra, a senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, partnered with fourth-grade students from Allen Road Elementary School to help some animals find their forever homes. 

Nicole Mirra is a volunteer at Helping Hounds, where she has given her time for several years, even adopting her own dog, Zoe, from the organization six years ago. Nicole was talking with one of her CNS teachers, Melissa Palmisano, about animals in need and together, the pair came up with a fun project idea.  
Melissa has a daughter, Addison, who is a fourth grade student at Allen Road Elementary School and she reached out to her daughter’s classroom teachers, Lindsey Shewfelt and Emily Zera to pitch an idea. The group worked together to bring the project to fruition. 

On Friday, May 19, Nicole visited the classroom armed with bios and pictures of dogs in need of forever homes. The goal was to encourage the students to utilize the information provided and create new bios from the perspective of each dog. Additionally, the students showcased their artistic talents by drawing pictures of the animals to accompany their written profiles.

The project aligned with the classroom’s current curriculum, and at the same time, allowed students to express their love for animals. The teachers emphasized the importance of collaboration, prompting the students to work in teams to complete the project successfully.

While the students immersed themselves in crafting unique bios for the dogs, Nicole, alongside the teachers, roamed the room, engaging with the younger children and discussing the project's significance. The discussions centered around the value of volunteering and giving back to the community.

Lindsey expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative. She noted that the project resonated with the students, who were already fond of discussing pets in the classroom. 

Nicole hopes this collaborative project will endure after she graduates from CNS. She knows it has the potential to leave a lasting impact on both the high school and elementary school communities. By fostering a sense of compassion, empathy, and volunteerism at a young age, she believes that future generations will continue to advocate for animal welfare and give back to their community.

The heartwarming partnership between Nicole Mirra, the fourth-grade students, and their teachers exemplifies the power of collaboration and demonstrates the profound effect individuals can have when they work together for a common cause. Through their collective efforts, these compassionate individuals have not only promoted dog adoption but also instilled invaluable life lessons in the young minds involved.