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Cause for canines brings students together

DP duo gets whole school involved to design and produce 60 dog toys for a local refuge

Ava Gajdatsy and Sophia Gawan-Taylor, students at PLC Perth

Dog lovers and IB Diploma Programme (DP) students from PLC Perth, in Australia, decided to put their creativity skills to use for Shenton Park Dog Refuge Home.

Ava Gajdatsy and Sophia Gawan-Taylor designed and made three different dog toys; a braided thick cord (tug and chew toy); a spider-shaped product (tug, throw and chew toy); and a wrapped tennis ball with braided tails (throw and fetch toy). In total, they made 60 toys for their creativity, activity and service (CAS) project.

But they didn’t do it alone. They enlisted the help of students in years 7 to 11.

Ava and Sophia commented: “We’re both creative and we wanted to do something enjoyable, useful and thought that creating dog toys would be valuable to the dogs. It gives them something to play with, and is also helpful for volunteers and workers at the dog shelter and gave us invaluable leadership skills.”

Dog toys created by Ava and Sophia

The two students designed the toys, collected the materials, and led the group of younger students, who dedicated one afternoon per week to help.

All the toys were made out of recycled fabrics and tennis balls. Ava and Sophia added: “We wanted to benefit more than one cause, and we had a very low budget. As well as learning how to repurpose old materials, we also learned how to benefit local causes through other ways than volunteering.

“These materials were not too hard for our group of younger students to work with, and we ensured there were no materials that could harm the dogs if they pulled the toys apart.”

Ava and Sophia hope that younger students will continue the initiative, and potentially make an annual donation. “We really liked the project, and so did the younger students that helped us. Hopefully, once they’re old enough, they might have an interest to volunteer at the shelter, too.”

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email