Students putting powers of persuasion to work to help Humane Society

West Wortham Middle School students put pets in the spotlight Thursday in an effort to help the Humane Society of South Mississippi get them adopted.

Seventh-grade teacher Tanya Voorhees is teaching students about public relations, advertising and marketing. Students have been learning about photography, graphic design and advertising meant to produce powerful visual images “designed to persuade or motivate the viewer.”

They have been using equipment provided by a grant from the Leo W. Seal Teacher Recognition Award, Voorhees said.

She had her class go to the Humane Society to see what get stray dogs and cats adopted. The students took cameras to get photographs of animals, which they’ll use to design an advertisement that raises awareness.

There was one main requirement of the students as they brainstormed what they wanted to focus their project on, Voorhees said.

“We wanted to teach the students more about advertising and marketing, but it had to be in connection with something that is also good for the community,” she said.

Shelter volunteers Wendy Kennedy, Daniel Ornsby and Katie King took turns giving the students an inside look at the shelter and what it does for the Coast’s stray pets.

Kennedy heads up her own marketing campaign for the shelter, Wendy’s Prints for Paws. Her pictures have helped animals find homes.

The students’ next task is to design and print posters that encourage pet adoption in the community.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory