Darlene Ake figures it is the Preacher Glass in her genes.

Darlene Ake figures it is the Preacher Glass in her genes.

Her Wewahitchka pre-K class is a place where one of the primary lessons is about giving.

Her students conducted fundraisers for the people impacted by recent flooding in Howard Creek and are about to embark on the second annual campaign to collect coins to fund a cure for San Felippe Syndrome.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that once again, for Valentine’s Day, Ake and her class eschewed the cards and candy to provide some sweets to hearts beating on four legs.

The Wewahitchka pre-K, 30 strong, made the annual trek to the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society to drop off donated food and treats, sign a Valentine for the critters and enjoy 30 minutes of pet therapy.

“I am all about teaching them to give,” Ake said. “It’s a good thing to teach them, something they will carry with them as they grow.

“And it also gets parents more involved and that also carries on up the grades.”

The trip, which also includes a McDonald’s lunch in Frank Pate Park, is all about a glimpse of the world beyond their four-year-old eyes and minds.

“I’m teaching that we are givers and should always be considerate of others,” Ake said. “I want to show them it’s nice to give and you get a good feeling.”

For the Humane Society, the trip is anticipated each year.

Volunteers and shelter staff were ready with dogs to be petted and given treats and the cat play area is always an attraction as the furries bound from frolic to fear.

The benefits for the shelter arrive in several layers.

“Every year we have gotten volunteers out of the visit,” said shelter director Melody Townsend. “It’s good exposure for the kids and good education.

“And they bring us needed supplies.”