Fifth graders from the elementary school’s Perry Academic and Cultural Enrichment Services (PACES) class, which offers before- and after-school learning programming for students, explored the theme of community service and volunteering in December.

Jenn Nelson, elementary school music teacher and PACES fifth grade teacher, said each PACES class chose a service project for the month, and the fifth grade class decided to collect items for the Humane Society of Perry.

"They put up signs around the school," Nelson said, "and we also sent home a note with all Perry Elementary students asking for donations."

Once the donations were collected, the students sorted and boxed them, she said.

Abby Benifiel, director of the Humane Society of Perry, said the donations were just what was needed.

"The students gave us pet food, treats and, thoughtfully, coats and vests to help keep their little bodies warm."

The Humane Society of Perry took in about 175 dogs and 100 cats in 2013.