HW Smith Peace Leaders Enjoy 'Puppy Time' in Visit from Guiding Eyes for the Blind

     Published on 12/22/15   Tagged under:    District News    Community Service    HW Smith K-8 School   

Fifth through eighth graders in the HW Smith Peace Leaders class enjoyed time with some furry friends, thanks to the enrichment program with Peaceful Schools and a visit from a volunteer with Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Linda DePuy has been raising puppies for more than 20 years through Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She spoke with Peace Leaders classes about the organization, how guide dogs help those with disabilities and what does into raising a puppy for the program. Students enjoyed learning what their name looked like in Braille, wearing goggles that showed them what their vision would be like with different vision impairments, and of course playing with two of the guide dogs in training!
To prepare for the visit, students created dog toys to be donated to the CNY chapter of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, where they will be used by puppy trainers during the training process.

“We knew Linda was coming in, so we made dog toys to help her when she’s training the dogs,” seventh grader Marissa Carello explained. “It was cool to learn that people with disabilities can use these guide dogs to help them live more comfortably.”
Classmate Keir Glass added, “We learned that it takes a lot to be a guide dog. I’d like to make more toys for them. And maybe we could start a foundation to make sure the dogs have everything they might need while they’re being trained!”
Ms. DePuy said the goal of her visit was to help develop the students’ desire to give back to the community.
“I hope students learned about service above all else,” she explained. “It’s all about volunteering. And these students made all these toys for the dogs… it’s wonderful. That was the best thing they could do to help!”
For seventh grader Trevor Williamson, the message hit home. “I learned that these dogs have been trained a lot and they have learned all the basics, but they’re still very playful,” he said. “It was fun to make the toys, and it’s nice to know I helped a dog and a person by making them.”
Great work, Peace Leaders, for your contributions to this great cause!