Fourth graders at Rutledge Elementary are setting the bar on what it means to lead by example. During the month of February, they raised $1,292.68 to benefit the animals at the Austin Humane Society.

After researching charitable organizations in the area, the students decided to rally support for the Humane Society. They organized a Valentine’s Day fundraiser cutting out paper hearts, advertising sales around campus, selling and distributing the paper hearts to students who purchased them.

Though the main purpose was to raise funds for a good cause, students gained valuable lessons about charities and fundraising. They also learned about paying taxes on items, how to sell things, as well as developing public speaking and advertising skills along the way.

“The best part is, they learned that through their efforts they can make a real impact for good in our world. Ishmel Behrhorst from the Austin Humane Society was on hand the morning of Friday, February 22, to accept the check from our fourth graders,” said principal Beth Mohler. “These funds will go to great use to benefit the animals in the Austin area.”

Parents and students also made cards to encourage volunteers for the Austin Humane Society.