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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943



dps.wms.K9

Warrensburg Middle School Students Offer Assistance to UCM K-9

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 23,2017) – A group of students from Warrensburg Middle School recently presented the UCM Department of Public Safety with a portion of the funds needed to purchase a safety vest for Echo, the UCM K-9.

The seventh grade students from The Peer Helpers, one of three teams of students who are part of the service learning program at Warrensburg Middle School, presented the check for $533 to Officer Ben Brown, Echo’s handler.

Warrensburg Middle School Peer Helpers and Echo
Warrensburg Middle School students from the Peer Helpers service learning team presented UCM Public Safety Office Ben Brown, kneeling, with a check for $553 toward the purchase of a safety vest for Echo, the UCM K-9. Members of the team are, standing left to right, Casey McBride, Zach Munsterman, Warner Short and Gavin Wyatt. Not pictured is team member Tyler Ward.

According to Cyndi Allen, faculty adviser for the Peer Helpers, the students made the decision to purchase the vest for Echo at the beginning of the school year as they were setting their goals for service projects for the year.

“The students had participated in D.A.R.E. camp last summer, and area law enforcement brought their dogs to the camp,” Allen said. “That’s when our students noticed that Echo didn’t have the safety vest that the other dogs had.” While brainstorming for a project for the coming school year, the students decided to make raising the funds for purchase of the vest the goal for their fundraising projects throughout the year. The Peer Helpers held several events, including Hat Day, Jeans Day and a dessert bar, throughout the year to raise the funds.

“We just felt like it was something we could do to help out in making the community a safer for everybody,” said team member Zach Munsterman. “We were able to get other students and the teachers to help us out with our fundraisers.”

The Service Learning Program at Warrensburg Middle School is designed to provide students with the opportunity to provide service to the community.

“It’s a method of teaching them about the value of giving back to the community,” said Laura Kennedy, Warrensburg Middle School counselor and coordinator of the program. “They learn that there are long-term benefits for the community as a whole, and they are encouraged to make a lifelong commitment to civic engagement.”

Students may apply to participate as a member one of three teams in the Service Learning Program at Warrensburg Middle School. The Magic Me team focuses on helping others and making a difference in their lives, while the Navigators learn to be good listeners and peacemakers. The Peer Helpers brainstorm ideas for projects that benefit the community and the school.

“The efforts of these students are very much appreciated by the Department of Public Safety,” said Capt. Dan Othic, captain of police operations for the UCM Department of Public Safety. “Echo stands ready to serve the campus and community, if needed, and the Peer Helpers have provided us with one of the tools we need to do that effectively.”

Echo, a German Shepherd imported from Germany, and his handler, Officer Ben Brown, completed training at K9 World Dogs International, LLC, in Longford, Kan. Echo is assigned to the evening shift and conducts regular patrols of the campus.