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YSI students collect pennies for puppies
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Young Scholars Institute ended its two-week summer program, a dedication to critters, with a donation to McMinnville Animal Control.
“Every year we encourage the kids to give back to the community in some way,” said Jimmy Haley, who organizes YSI with Carol Neal. “This year, we thought it would be good to have the kids bring whatever extra change they had and we would donate it to Animal Control. We called it Pennies for our Puppy Pals.”
YSI is in its third decade of providing summer enrichment opportunities for the youth of Warren County. The two-week program was from June 2-6 and June 9-13.
Each year, organizers choose a theme that will utilize both educational and recreational activities and leave lasting memories. This year’s theme was “Critters.” Children discovered the wonders of Mother Nature and explored the world of mythological creatures.
Along with daily activities, children were treated with trips to Cumberland Caverns, Rock Island State Park, Party Animals in Morrison, Chattanooga Zoo, The Parthenon in Nashville, Discovery Science Museum in Murfreesboro, and Gilley Pool.
Over the last two weeks, YSI participants brought in change and collected $120 for Animal Control. 
“This was an unexpected donation,” said McMinnville Animal Control director David Denton. “I appreciate YSI for thinking of us and the children who donated to this.”
To the delight of the children, Denton brought with him a Miniature Pincher that was found on someone’s back porch and picked up by Denton.
“Maybe this will help us find her owner,” said Denton. “I’m sure she has one. She seemed to be well taken care of. Her nails were even painted.”
For more information about YSI, contact Haley at 668-5858 or Neal at 473-9006. McMinnville Animal Control can be reached at 473-2553.