Around 39 of Rome Middle School students have joined forces with Rome Middle School educator, Dollene Ray, and created a Builders Club to provide services to their community. The club traveled to the Public Animal Welfare Service (PAWS) on Thursday and volunteered their time with the dogs and cats that are currently looking for their “fur-ever” home.

PAWS was the first stop on the Builders Club’s agenda, where the students were able to play and connect with the surrendered dogs and kittens. This effort was most definitely a hit among everyone who participated.

“The students, our principal, Dr. Parke Wilkinson, and I were trying to come up with a place that was convenient, and that we knew could use our help. PAWS was a perfect fit. It is a plus that all of our students love animals, but also that they love giving. I am thrilled to watch them all in their element,” said Ray.

Members Allison Loveman and Sophi Taylor enjoy being able to help their community in any way they can, no matter how big or small the deed.

“Along with volunteering at PAWS, we have also helped our custodians by cleaning up around the school. Builders Club meets every other Friday, which gives us a chance to talk as a group and decide other ways, either around our school or in our community, which we can give back. I definitely plan to continue these things once I get to the high school,” said Loveman.

The Builders Club is a student-led service organization that participates in community service projects and helping others in and around the community of Rome. It is sponsored by the Rome Kiwanis, a local service organization that has agreed to help children flourish. Students do not need to have good grades in order to participate in Builders Club, as Ray explained that, “if you have a service heart, then we want you to be with us.

“We were sponsored by our local Kiwanis branch back in October. So, step by step, we have put together a student committee, held meetings where we discussed our agendas and more. We are now finally able to begin what we started this club for, which is volunteering, and that is the most exciting part of seeing all of this come together,” said Ray.

 “I think what these students learn at this age, and the experiences they have now, will be a part of them, as well as a part of how they look at the world around them. I just want to give them as many opportunities outside of the classroom that I can, because these kids are going to be the ones who will make our community better as a whole in the future,” said Ray.

The students in the Builders Club wanted the community to know that the animals at Rome’s Public Animal Welfare Service are all available for adoption, and will make excellent additions to families who are looking to adopt a pet.