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McVille Students Lend A Paw To Animal Welfare Groups

McConnellsville, NY - The smallest school in the Camden Central School District has made a colossal difference in the lives of some furry friends this holiday season. Students at McConnellsville Elementary School set out on a successful coin and supply drive, entitled "Pennies For Puppies and Coins for Kitties,” to benefit two area animal charities. 


Despite having less than 250 students in the building, the dedicated children of McConnellsville were able to raise $1,248.81 in just ten days, along with donations of supplies. The money was raised on behalf of Wanderer's Rest Humane Association in Canastota, and Finnland's Fosters Cat Rescue in Oneida. 


The project began with a reading group of twelve third graders who took an interest in animal welfare after reading the Newberry Medal-Winning book Shiloh. They decided to organize a coin drive. Led by School Librarian and IFA Reading Group teacher Mrs. Shelley Malenowski, the reading group set and revised goals, made posters to hang throughout the school, and helped to count and roll coins.


When the drive was complete, Malenowski took the students on a field trip to both charities to distribute the checks and supplies they collected. That took place on Saturday, December 11th. 


Malenowski felt the drive was an exciting experience for the students. 


"The entire school buzzed with excitement during the time we held our coin drive!,” Malenowski said. “Our donation total was updated daily, and it really kept the momentum going! I'm so grateful that we were able to secure a bus and driver on a Saturday. It made the project even more real to my students to visit the charities and present them with the checks and physical donations."


The project built on a past tradition of giving to animal welfare organizations by McConnellsville students. In December 2019, a group led by Malenowski gave $750 to the Rome SPCA. 

For additional information about Wanderer’s Rest, visit To learn more about Finnland’s Fosters, visit