Dog Adoption Day - A Project of 4th-Graders By Galit Zamler
Dog Adoption Day - a project involving fourth-graders kid entrepreneurs from the Mordei HaGeta'ot school in Ramat Gan, who formed a group of children and established a social venture in the schoolin to help find a warm home for dogs.
The project was a successful. One out of 4 dogs were adopted
Here you can find the steps for setting up the project from the concept to the successful implementation.
The entire process was done within the framework of Entrepreneurship for Kids Program, which was held at the school as an enrichment program.
Establishing an Entrepreneurial Group
In the Mordei HaGeta'ot school in Ramat Gan there are three 4th graders classes.
All the three classes participated in the first three sessions of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program.
Becoming familiarity with the first few sessions of the program allowed students to decide whether they want to continue to participate in the full program and at the end establish a project.
The response from the students was very high, but the number of students participating was limited in advance to 17. This was so that each young entrepreneur could express questions during the program meetings.
Raising Ideas for Projects
In addition to teaching the modules of the entrepreneurship for young students program, the entrepreneurial team was asked to raise ideas for projects they liked.
Initially, the number of ideas were very limited, but as students felt more relaxed, they raised more and more ideas for projects. Eventually, it seemed like the flow of ideas suggested by children wouldn't stop.
Receiving School Principal Approval
The ideas raised were written in an orderly manner and a central list was transferred to be approved by school principal, Ronni Shasha.
Ronni approved and rejected project ideas according to her discretion, and the entrepreneur students were given a list of ideas that had been approved to implement:
- Establishing a school cafeteria
- Courses led by students
- Cooking class at school
- A day that pupils can adopt abandoned dogs
- The establishment of an agricultural school garden
- Construction of a bike locks facility
- Establishment of a film theater in school
- Organizing sale days of second-hand toys at school
- Planting and selling of potted plants
- Allocation of room in the school where students could play board games
- Day of position shuffling between teachers and students
- The establishment of a place in the schoolyard for a buffet
Prioritization and Focusing
The selection process of the favored project with the entrepreneurial team was followed by brainstorming and then voting.
The results of the vote according to the reports of Shirley Ben-Yaakov, science teacher and coordinator of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program at the school:
Last Friday morning there was a charming and very forthright meeting - where students reached decisions to approve the ideas of Ronni.
Six students want to promote the idea of finding a warm home for dogs.
Five students want to promote the idea of establishing an outdoor dining area
Three other students chose two other ideas The idea of exchanging roles and the idea of an agricultural garden, but were ready to join the above two ideas willingly)
Two students were missing and one student chose to join whatever project wins.
I asked students to think about it in terms of the business program ideas which we learned in the meetings with Galit and I suggested they return to the summaries of the meetings.
he students are excited and are looking forward to next Friday to begin.
Have a great week everyone, Shirley.
These are the four ideas that came to the final stage:
The young entrepreneurs have learned that to be successful in implementing a project, they should focus on one project at a time.
This decision led to a discussion among students about various projects and the arguments raised for each project.
At the end of this phase, one project was selected to be implemented during this school year: Organizing a Dog Adoption Day.
Another initiative: The establishment of a seating area in the school yard, that will serve class breakfast was postponed at this stage for the next school year.
The social venture that takes care of abandoned dogs was chosen for two main reasons:
- Such a project has not been done in schools yet.
- All students participating in Entrepreneurship for Kids Program love animals and dogs.
Most young entrepreneurs first heard the term business plan during the meetings of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program and it seemed to them that their project did not need a business plan because a business plan was something only for adult ventures.
But after two meetings that dealt with this issue and the importance of a business plan for the success of the project, the students realized that as a preliminary stage to realizing their venture, they should prepare a business plan.
Project Goals (Vision)
Finding a home for dogs in need of adoption
Each individual formulated the idea of an enterprise, and in the class meeting, they defined to a joint venture.
Needs the Dog Adoption Day Enterprise Will Fulfill
- Dogs need to find a home
- Many children and want pets to raise
- Parents need to teach their children about responsibility
- The need to help families searching for a dog to adopt
- The need to save money on buying a dog
Who are We and Why can We Succeed?
- We participate in the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program
- We can succeed because we are working in a team
- We have the principal's approval and help from the school staff
- We can do a market survey
- We are target oriented and want to succeed
In this session, students learned about the SWOT model and also discussed various clauses about their venture.
After clarification about the upcoming adoption event that various associations helped to organize, the entrepreneurial team defined what would be successful for them: the adoption of at least two dogs.
Added Values of the Venture:
The message that was delivered to students is that measuring the success of the project in terms of the number of dogs that they expected be adopted was correct and important, but for the process of establishing the enterprise, there are other related results such as:
- A new experience for the students entrepreneurs in terms planning, executing, and marketing of the project
- Raising awareness of the need to find a warm home for dogs
- Greater familiarity among students who came from three 4th grade classes and participating in the construction of the project.
The formula for calculating the market size of the social project was set as:
About 800 school students and their families.
Plus teachers and other school staff.
Minus 200 students that are from the same family.
Fewer students who already have a dog.
Minus the students that have someone in their family who is allergic to dogs.
Minus the students whose parents are strongly opposed to adopting a dog.
Israeli non-profit organizations for animal rescue and also animal shops in the area were defined asproject competitors.
The cake recipe is actually a step by step action plan on how to realize a successful venture.
By brainstorming ideas, the students raised what they thought should exist in order to be successful at implementing the project.
Many questions were also asked, but in order to answer them they needed to perform tests.
Shirley Ben-Yaakov, the coordinator of the program, wrote down what was defined as an "Action plan - Phase A"- examine the feasibility of implementing the project and determine its chances of success.
Young Entrepreneurs Plan - 4thth Graders
Action Plan - Phase I
After the meetings and recieving the green light from Ronni for a few ideas, the representatives chose to promote and lead a social enterprise of a adopting abandoned dogs that will be brought to school. Please note in the step we might move to the breakfast area.
The first step is having a survey for each school class to decide on the value of continuing the program.
Measures of the first stage:
1. Planning and conducting this survey, which is attached to the program (1st graders)
2. Dividing the young entrepreneurs into eight groups: Seven pairs (2nd - 8th graders) and one group of three 1st graders, with each group responsible for the existence of a single age group survey.
3. The young entrepreneurs will be trained on how to present the survey:
A brief introduction about who they are.
What is the plan?
The importance of the project.
The importance of providing credible and honest answers from respondents.
4. The survey classroom presentation by young entrepreneurs will be oral for reasons of economy and because it's easier to collate the data collection. We propose conducting the survey on Friday, during the first and second quarters of an hour the next morning.
5. Collecting data and conclusions regarding the continuation of the project.
It was clear that the survey should be short and the answers are closed, so it can be easily performed orally and then students can cast their vote which, can be counted immediately.
The survey questions were defined as:
Young entrepreneurs plan - 4th graders
A survey for the dog adoption day at school
The survey is intended for all students in the school and will be conducted orally by young entrepreneurs (students from the school).
The students were divided into teams and entrepreneurs moved between classrooms and carried out the survey.
The survey was conducted orally and then the votes were cast, knowing that the results may be biased due to group pressure. This was considered while continuing the project planning.
The young entrepreneurs gathered all the survey results and counted the votes.
The students put the results on a page before meeting with the school principal.
Survey results on the adoption of dogs at the Mordei HaGeta'ot school
Have a dog in their house - 99
Want to adopt and invest - 272
Think their parents would agree to adopt and pay - 104
They will come to the adoption day with their parents - 188
Almost 300 students are interested in adopting dogs and spending time with them.
Nearly 200 have declared they will come with their parents to adoption day.
More than 100 think their parents would agree to adopt and to the payment.
On adoption day, we will try to find a home for 15 dogs, and the survey results indicate that we should try.
Go / No Go
The decision on the continued operation:
The survey results taught the young entrepreneurs that they should try and implement the project since there is a willingness among school students to come to adoption day with their parents and adopt a dog.
Contacting an organization in charge of dogs that need to be adopted.
The essential condition for the success of the enterprise was to bring the dogs in need of adoption to the school.
At this point, the young entrepreneurs received help from the staff accompanying the program.
They contacted a number of organizations participating under the auspices of dogs looking for a home.
But it turned out that taking dogs outside the pens is not a simple matter:
Some of the organizations didn't have qualified vehicles.
Some dogs are staying with volunteers during the week and that's too much trouble to ask everyone to get to the school at a particular day and time.
And some have experience that indicates that such adoption days are doomed to failure and their only purpose is to entertain the kids.
At each stage, the entrepreneur students were updated about the referrals and responses of those associations, and they even offered coping strategies to persuade them to cooperate.
The additional Internet search brought us to the great Israeli man Geva Zin from Geva Kennels.
It was agreed that Geva would bring 15 dogs and had the pictures and details of each dog sent so we would be able to sell them to students at the school before the adoption day.
The decision for the place of the project
In the schoolyard, there are a number of fields, and the young entrepreneurs were uncertain about what would be the most appropriate place to hold the adoption event.
The selected field must answer these needs:
- The field must be big enough to allow each of the following walks freely around the dogs, and not too large to allow control
- Be able to tie the dogs with leashes along the fence with sufficient intervals between them
- The field is at the entrance to the school, so everyone will be exposed to adoption day.
- Near the field outside the school, there is a parking space that will suit the car the dogs will be brought to.
- The field has a fence with demarcation - suitable for observation on the number of visitors at any given moment.
Passing the marketing plan
The students decided to continue working on the project and learned about the importance of the entrepreneur's marketing plan and how to market in different ways.
Every creative idea and practical marketing initiative were welcomed, and the entrepreneur students have revealed terrific creativity.
At the meeting, the entrepreneurs learned about the importance of speaking in a universal language to target the marketing process of the adoption day and discussed ideas for marketing messages written on various accessories.
When the young entrepreneurs were ready with their business plan and had a marketing plan, they asked to meet with the school principal, Ronni Shasha, to present the action plan, arrange a time for the event at school, and get answers to several questions that were raised during the formulation of the plan.
For the meeting, the students planned who would present what, so that the meeting would achieve its goals and be effective.
This is the letter the representatives brought to the meeting with the school's principal;
To Ronni Shasha:
Subject: Future Plan
1. Our plan is to hold an adoption day at school.
a. The adoption day will take place on the first two hours of Friday. Fifteen dogs will come for adoption, and some of them will be puppies.
b. Only students whose parents come will be able to adopt a dog.
c. The dogs will be tied to a fence in the yard next to the guard. Next to each dog will be a representative of the entrepreneurs who can provide details.
d. There will also be a stand of equipment that Geva will sell at cost.
2. To promote dog adoption day, we want to advertise in the following ways:
a. Flyers with exact details on the adoption day.
b. Posters - The posters will have details on the adoption day.
We want to know where can we hang the posters?
Two weeks before the date of adoption, we will post pictures of the dogs for adoption.
We would like to know whether the date of August 6th, 2012 is suitable?
We would be pleased if you could confirm this program.
Thank you on behalf of the entrepreneurship program.
After the meeting, an agreed date for the adoption day was set: June 1st, 2012 - a Friday during the first two hours of the school day.
Once receiving the green light from the school principal, the entrepreneurial team began extensive marketing activities aimed at encouraging students to reach their parents about the possibility of adopting a dog.
These marketing activities included:
Hanging signs that were prepared by the student entrepreneurs around the school, so that every student in the school would be exposed to the enterprise.
On the door of every grade in school the entrepreneur students hung a bulletin to announce to all schoolchildren about the existence of an adoption day.
An email newsletter was also distributed to students and their parents - so that E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y would know about the venture.
Photos and detail of the dogs were printed and concentrated in one place, so that every child who wanted a dog could read well in advance and decide who they would want to adopt and see if they could get their parents interested.
The entrepreneurial team organized marketing activities and came prepared with different colored strips of paper, markers, staplers, and more.
This marketing initiative of entrepreneurs received a lot of support among school students, who had prepared a bracelet for themselves with a slogan they came up with that encourages the adoption of dogs.
To attract the attention of school children to the stand, the young entrepreneurs played a trumpet they brought with them.
Taking the project into action - Children adopt dogs at Mordei HaGeta'ot school
On Friday, June 1st, 2012 the entrepreneurial team arrived, as did the participants' of Entrepreneurship for Kids Program, early in the morning before students arrived at school.
In order to create a sense of entrepreneurial team, the entrepreneur students wore white shirts and long jeans. They all received a white cap and a badge that hung around their necks.
Even Geva Zin from Geva Kennels came early with a man who helped him on adoption day. Both dropped the dogs out of the car and led them into the school yard.
In the school yard, the dogs were tied up along the fence. The children were able to identify the dogs as they had received in advance the dogs' pictures and details so the children themselves teamed up with the dogs they were interested in adopting on the day.
In this presentation, here are the dogs' pictures and their details:
The excitement of the students and the school staff was already huge with the first bark.
Within a short time, parents and students came to school, entered the compound of adoption, walked among the dogs and received information about the dogs they were interested in from the entrepreneurial team.
When they heard the ringtone, each grade came down to the schools' adoption compound, which was neatly organized and planned in advance, for fifteen minutes, and students whose parents came and were seriously considering adopting a dog joined them.
When the first dog, Putch, was adopted by a school student, the joy among the entrepreneur kids was big. They felt a great sense of accomplishment and anticipation for another dog to be adopted so they could meet the target they'd set for success.
Not long after, Putcha, was adopted as well. The young entrepreneurs shared the news among themselves while continuing to advertise the remaining dogs, and the excitement of their project's success was clear.
At the end of the adoption day, Terry, who was featured on the adoption day fliers, was adopted.
The father of one of the child entrepreneurs, who came to see his son in action, helped to find a home for Gali.
Four dogs in all were adopted, thanks to the students' adoption day project. The students considered the day as a considerable success.
Here is a short film produced at the end of the adoption day.
A closing session was held a week later, in which the students watched for the first time a video of their project.
A meeting was held for a discussion on the following questions:
Was the project successful or not? And why?
How did you feel before, during, and after the project day?
Did the business plan help? If so, how?
Was there a need for collaboration (teamwork) and with whom?
What was the most stressful?
Did you have to improvise on the adoption day?
What lessons can we conclude in retrospect?
At the end of the meeting, the young entrepreneurs received a certificate for their participation at the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program and for executing the social project that took care of abandoned dogs.
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