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Third-grader Chandler Smith checks out the new monthly newspaper at Priceville Elementary School on Wednesday.
Daily photo by Paul Huggins
Third-grader Chandler Smith checks out the new monthly newspaper at Priceville Elementary School on Wednesday.

Morgan 3rd-graders getting pet lessons

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

The motto hovering over the lobby of Priceville Elementary School says "Readers Make Leaders."

That fit perfectly with a new program the Animal Friends Humane Society started Wednesday that puts Morgan County third-graders at the forefront of controlling the pet population in rural areas.

Using a $1,000 gift from veterinarian Dr. Jan Strother, the AFHS will provide 32 county elementary schools with monthly newspapers called KIND (Kids in Nature's Defense) News.

Teachers will use the newspapers to supplement science, math and reading curriculums.

The four-page tabloid paper includes games, quizzes, interviews with celebrity pet owners, profiles on animals of the world, tips for pet care, and even inspirational stories about children overcoming adversity.

"It's a great way to fill the gap that textbooks don't cover about being humane to animals," said Connie Norris, Priceville teacher. "If you're humane to pets, you'll be humane to people."

Strother said she thinks veterinarians will help support KIND News — published since 1983 by The Humane Society of the United States — in other schools because it encourages students to spay and neuter pets.

Rural parts of Morgan County especially need to learn that message, she added, after she and Janet Jenkins, AFHS president, distributed the first copies to Norris' class.

As money becomes available, Jenkins said, she hopes to expand the program into Hartselle City Schools next.

It costs $25 to sponsor one classroom, should anyone want to partner with the program, Jenkins said.

For more information, call AFHS at 351-2347.

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