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Northwoods Elementary School

Pilot Program 2015 Art Project

Brenda Brokke, Artist and retired Wake County Art Teacher, showed the class a photo of a snow-covered cat. She asked the fourth graders to consider what emotions the cat was feeling. The students replied eagerly ... "cold," and "not happy."


Mrs. Brokke then showed the students the context of the photo-a cat left out in the cold. She challenged the kids to draw what an animal was feeling and why he or she was feeling that way.


The children observed basic shapes ... a triangular-like nose, an oval head, integrating the angles they studied in math. They used oil pastel crayons to blend colors with Q-tips and Baby Oil. The fourth graders had fun, learned art techniques, and experienced empathy towards animals.


The kids wrote the "story" (context) of their artwork on an index card which was attached to their drawing.

February 2016 Art Project

Students were asked to "draw" upon what they learned in the program by creating pictures of the dogs and cats they would like to adopt in the artistic style of George Rodrigue.  They painted the images on ceiling tiles in pure color, studying color, tone, and line. Each student wrong a short companion piece telling what to think about before adopting a pet and how to care for a forever pet. The ceiling tiles are on display in the Northwoods 4th grade classrooms, leaving a legacy for as long as the building stands.

April 2017 Art Project

The students (with the help of the music specialist, Mrs. Wells) composed a song telling many of the lessons they learned in the program. The song was performed by the students using drums, maracas, tone blocks, and their voices. 

April 2018 Art Project

The students in Mrs. Das's class created drawings to reflect on the rewards of responsible pet ownership. The drawing include a range of pets from dogs and cats to birds and hamsters. 

February 2019 Art Project

With help from Rebecca Hagedorn, the art teacher, Northwoods students applied what they learned about temperature and pets in the Kids 4 Critters program to their art work. Each fourth grade student designed an educational flyer that could be used by the community. This flyer educates the public about the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car.

The emphasis of the artwork was in using the most foundational principles of art. Students used the Elements of Art: form, shape, space and color. They also used the Principles of Design: emphasis, balance and unity. Craftsmanship and critique were also discussed as the students created great educational flyers for the community.

Download the Flyers

February 2020 Art Project


The students learned about the needs and responsibilities of pet ownership through discussion and writing in the classroom.

The students used mixed media (tempera, oil pastel, and collage) to create a self-portait with heir pet. Color, lines, designs, control of media and fun were the elements used in the project.

Thank you to Becky Hagedorm, Visual Art Instructor, at Northwoods for your continued support and creativity!

Thank you to Cary Visual Art, Inc and Wishing Well at Wake Med Cary Hospital for putting the students work on display from March - May 2020.

Click to Launch the Gallery

Baileywick Elementary School

April 2016 Art Project

a variety of hand drawn pets with title Bailey's Do's and Don'ts for our Pets

The students created drawing telling what to do and what not to do for different types of pets. While dogs and cats were the main focus, some students choose other critters, so as horses, hamsters, birds, and turtles. The book was on display at WCAC for a few weeks. We turned it into an eBook to share with everyone!

Wendell Elementary School

November 2016 Art Project

The students worked with the art teacher, Mrs. York, to paint pictures of our mascot, Mister Peters, showing different emotions. Those pictures were compiled to tell a story of why it is important to Pick Up Poop (PUP). Mr. Jenkins, the drama teacher, narrates the lesson. This resource has been shared with many communities and is even shown in one of the lessons. Having the students share what they learned is an important aspect of the program.

Conn Magnet Elementary School of Entrepreneurial Design

June 2018 Technology Project

The students worked in groups to detail what they learned in the Kids 4 Critters program by creating a teaching resource to share their knowledge with others. The students used Google Slides to create presentations and some even created videos. Check out a sample of their work by clicking the image to the left.

AB Combs Elementary School

Fall 2019 Art Project


Ms. Ferrell, the art teacher, developed a project that covered NC state standards for fourth grade, included curriculum concepts, a master artist's style, integrated cultural diversity, Covey habits (AB Combs is a leadership magnet school based on Covey's ideas), and considered how the student work could be displayed for other grades to see.

For the master's art style, the students studied Pablo Picasso's cubism and learned about Picasso's relationship with his pets. The students use of color is striking in these works.

"We did these dog/cat pictures to support what the kids were learning in Kids 4 Critters, " said Ms. Ferrell. "The students really seemed to acquire and recall a lot. To me, this was awesome for current/future pet owners as kids."

Check out some of the kids work by clicking the image to the left.

Quote Quilts

The Kids 4 Critters (K4C) program teaches fourth graders in the Wake County schools how to be responsible and respectful pet owners and empowers them to teach others what they have learned. At each school, we hold a writing competition in which the students synthesize what they have learned and use their critical thinking skills.  We proudly display the strongest papers on a bulletin board at the WCAC. However, since we have read so many inspiring comments from the kids, we wanted to celebrate their thoughts through the Quote Quilts. These beautiful quilts were designed and created by Gail Coles, one of our steering committee members.


Note: All comments, except one, are from the Kids 4 Critters students at either Northwoods, Baileywick or Wendell through 2017. One comment came to a volunteer after reading “Rescuing Penny Jane: One Shelter Volunteer, Countless dogs, and the Quest to Find Them All Homes,” by Amy Sutherland.  Please visit the WCAC to see the quilts up-close.  While you are there, consider fostering or adopting a pet in need.


If you would like us to teach Kids 4 Critters at your school, please contact us

Qoute Quilts
Take Care
Keep Pets Safe
Be a good pet owner
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