In addition to the projects below, click here to read about other My Voice projects.

Featured Project

ANIMAL ABUSE: 8th grade, Moorman, Stetson Middle School

Grades: 6, 7 and 8 • Issues: Animal Abuse and Child Abuse •Curriculum: Social Studies, Speaking & Listening, Using Technology & Media and Writing

“It was November,” Joe Moorman recalls, “and my students had narrowed their focus down to three possible issues: child abuse, animal abuse and kids with cancer. I suggested they work in teams to develop a 3 to 5 minute presentation to convince the others to choose their topic [as the focus for their yearlong Need in Deed project]. 


“I stood back and I watched,” he recalls. “Students were running back and forth between the different groups. They were excited, engaged. Some were working on PowerPoints; others were making posters. It just took off on its own. I felt like I was in a corporate office and the staff was preparing for a big project.”

Joe’s students’ passion about the topic attracted a number of community partners to the classroom. Each one shared a particular point of view or experience, some personal, many professional.

Shedding light on the issue of animal abuse and its connection to child abuse were:
  • Phil Arkow – a lecturer on humane education and the human-animal bond
  • The Phillies’ Megan Essman and third baseman Chase Utley’s wife Jen Utley
  • Christina Escobar and Pilar Hackman – Congreso de Latinos Unidos
  • Claire Tillman – volunteer, Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia
  • Kim Wolf – humane educator for Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia
  • Samantha Jones – a law student at Temple University interested in animal advocacy

After hearing their theory about the connection between animal and child abuse validated, the students decided on their objective: to educate young people about abuse. The substance of their culminating symposium was informed by the help they received from:
  • Lynn Hull – Y2K9, who assisted in the production of their PSA;
  • Ennis Carter – Designs for Social Impact, who offered assistance on the design of their brochure, and
  • Dwight Wilkins – Philadelphia Young Playwrights, who helped the students write and produce the play they shared with fellow students.

Posters the students produced were displayed at Citizens Bank Park at the Phillies' annual Save a Pet at the Park Day in June.

Clearly the project had a powerful impact on at least one student, who adopted a dog from the Pennsylvania SPCA as a consequence. As she told Jenn Utley about her decision, her eyes welled up with tears.

To listen to their PSA, click here.

Download a PDF of this Sample Project