Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is an organization that trains and provides helper dogs for both children and adults in need of a supportive, furry friend. Several years ago, second grade teacher Marina Byrne was introduced to Caryl Swain, a puppy raiser at CCI, and that is how our relationship with this great organization was born. Since then, Caryl has visited D-E’s second graders with a number of her “trainees” – Javier, Forest, Othello and Odetta – dogs which many of the second graders have grown to love as their own. The second grade decided to help this incredible organization, which not only raises these magnificent dogs but also helps people in need.
CCI is always in need of specific items used at the training facility in Mendham, Long Island. The second graders thought that they could help by raising money to purchase some of these items for CCI. In April, the grade decided to host a Read-A-Thon, where the parents of the second graders pledged a donation based on the amount of time that the “Seconders” read. This year, the second graders earned over $800 and were able to purchase many of the items on CCI’s wish list. Their community service project culminated with a visit to the training facility in Mendham, where they delivered their donations to a very grateful and dedicated staff. On this trip, they toured the facility and had the opportunity to meet some wonderful dogs in training.