Gardening for good: High School special education class volunteers for Rogue Valley Humane Society

Grants Pass, Ore — A group of North Valley High School students spent their time in the sun for charity this week.

Getting their hands dirty and putting their bodies and minds to work.

Special education students from North Valley High School put the finishing touches on a 5 months long project this week.

“North Valley had contacted and said that they wanted to bring out some students and we were eager to have them come on out, and they started in January when it was pretty icy, and I’ll tell you, what a great group of students that came out,” said Rogue Valley Humane Society Executive Director Margaret Varner.

The group volunteered to beautify the community garden at the Rogue Valley Humane Society.

While it isn’t easy work, the kids are learning valuable life skills to bring back to the classroom.

“They’re out here in community getting known by some community members, and building their resume and making some future opportunities where they could work here some day if they wanted to,” said Special Education Teacher Nealy Wheeler.

“We want them to put the video games down and come out and learn about recycling and animals and how we leave less of a footprint on our earth,” said Varner.

An experience that’s not lost on the students.

“They come back to class and they’re so proud of themselves and we’re so proud of how they’re doing. They earn a lot of points in our class point system and they really look forward to the next visit,” said Wheeler.

A visit to the humane society wouldn’t be complete without some well-earned puppy kisses.

The Rogue Valley Humane Society’s garden is looking for volunteers, you can find more information on the humane society’s website,

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Matt Jordan is the Chief Meteorologist for KOBI-TV NBC5. Matt joined the NBC5 weather team in 2014 after a year as a reporter and anchor in Alexandria, Louisiana. His experience with the severe weather of the Deep South and a love of the Pacific Northwest led him to pursue a certification with Mississippi State University as a Broadcast Meteorologist. You can find Matt working in the evenings of NBC5 News at 5, 6 and 11 as well as online. Matt also has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt is a BIG Oregon Ducks fan. When not rooting for the Ducks or tracking down the next storm over the Pacific, Matt can be found outdoors in the Oregon wilderness with his wife, his daughter and their dogs Stanley and Gordi.
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