Texarkana ISD Student Lighthouse Team Donates $10,000 for the Renovation of the City Animal Holding Facility


On Friday, May 17, a student leadership team from the Texarkana Independent School District met with city leaders in Texarkana, Texas, to donate money raised over the past several months to help facilitate the renovation of the local animal holding facility. The team, known as the District Student Lighthouse Team, donated a total of $10,245.35 to the city.

The project was unveiled in November 2023 during the annual TISD Synergy Summit. The Summit gathers student leaders from across the district to brainstorm ways they can serve the local community. The District Student Lighthouse Team created a service learning project to help reduce the stray animal population in Texarkana. The project was designed to take place in three phases.

Phase one of the project involved collecting pet supplies to donate to local rescues and shelters. The student leadership team heard from local rescue owners and volunteers about the valuable work they do. Many local rescue owners shared that they often pay for pet supplies, including veterinarian services, from their own pocket. The students were inspired to help. The team collected and donated almost 7,000 items, including food, toys, bedding and pet care supplies.

During the second phase of the project, the students took the initiative to address the funding gap for the renovation of the city’s animal holding facility. They set a goal of raising $10,000 and asked each campus team to create a way to raise the funds. Some campus teams sold popsicles and candy. Others hosted school dances where ticket sales benefitted the cause. One team held a bake sale, and another a coin drive. Their collective efforts raised the $10,245.35 donated.

Not stopping there, the students planned and hosted a Pet Adoption Fair on April 27, 2024. During the fair, participants visited with local rescue organizations, played with pets available for adoption, enjoyed free snow cones and cotton candy, ate lunch from two local food trucks, and played in bounce houses. Seven pets found new homes during the fair.

The ceremonial donation on Friday, May 17, culminated the project. Mayor Bob Bruggeman said, “The City of Texarkana, Texas, is very appreciative for the monetary assistance provided by the TISD Lighthouse students to be used towards the renovation of the animal holding facility.”

Next fall, the District Student Lighthouse Team will reconvene to create another city-wide service learning project.

About the District Student Lighthouse Team:
Texarkana ISD is known as a “Leader in Me” district, meaning students in TISD are taught a leadership curriculum incorporating Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People beginning as early as pre-kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. In addition to the intentional development of leadership traits, the curriculum encourages each campus to allow students to apply for a position on what is known as the Campus Student Lighthouse Team. Once selected to be part of the campus team, students can be nominated for membership on the district-wide leadership team. The district team is comprised of approximately 40 students ranging in age from four to 18 years and representing all grades PK through 12th. Each TISD campus has representation on the district team.

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