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Kids donate to shelter

Student started Roots & Shoots club, initated collecting materials

Posted: December 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Rebecca West, left, and a group of third, fourth and fifth grade students from SCVi present a dog bed on Thursday to a Terrier Mix puppy that is housed at the Castaic animal shelter.

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What started as a third-grade school assignment has blossomed into a youthful community service club at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School, and on Thursday those youngsters made good on the “service.”

The Roots & Shoots club, founded by 10-year-old Cora Sweeney, delivered 10 boxes of pet beds, food, blankets and toys to the Castaic animal shelter.

“It’s nice to see when the kids are excited and passionate about something,” proud mom Brandy Sweeney said of the group, which collected donated items for the shelter for two weeks before Thursday’s delivery. “I give all the kudos to my daughter.”

Brandy Sweeney said her daughter found out about Roots & Shoots when she was in third grade and was charged with making a report on a famous person who had made a difference in the world.

Cora Sweeney chose Jane Goodall for her report, and in researching the famed British primatologist and anthropologist she discovered the Roots & Shoots website established by the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.

The website encourages students to establish service clubs that are “about making positive change happen — for our communities, for animals and for the environment.”

With the approval of her third-grade teacher, Brandy Sweeney said, Cora was off and running. She founded a Roots & Shoots club at her school that now boasts 12 active members.

The club has built confidence in her daughter, who used to be painfully shy, said Brandy Sweeney, whose family lives in Valencia.

“She feel like she has a voice and she has an opportunity to do something on her level — she feel she can really make a difference at her level.”




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