CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Students at Greenbrier Middle School worked with the community using small change to make a big change.

"We collected spare change, and our theme is small change can make a big change,” said Doren.

Everyone from older and younger siblings to parents and neighbors in the Greenbrier community donated their spare change to help.

Kathy Doren is the Chesapeake Reading Teacher of the Year, and it's clear why. The media specialist taught a book to students and inspired them to go beyond the pages.

"I love doing it. I love getting kids engaged in the book. We have a pool that we choose from, and Shadow is our favorite,” said Doren. 

Doren believes the book Shadow is something students at Greenbrier Middle School can connect to.

"The kids can relate because there are so many folks in the classroom that have military experience because their dads and moms are deployed," said Doren.

The book is about an Afghan boy and his mother seeking asylum in England, and through their journey, the boy becomes friends with a dog. The dog provides comfort to the boy and essentially serves as a service dog to him. 

It inspired the Greenbrier Middle School seventh graders to raise money for a service dog for another child.

"It can cost about $5,000 to $15,000 to train a service dog," said Doren. "We found out the middle schooler we were raising money for was actually a middle school student in Chesapeake Public Schools that's having school anxiety."

The students raised $2,000 completely in change, and to make their goal happen, they canvassed anyone and everyone they possibly could. 

Assistant Principal, Dr. Johnna Byrd-King said when the students hit their goal, they got to meet Murphy.

"The kids were so excited to hear about the book, but then, to see the dogs! So, I really do think even though it started out at the middle school level, it really expanded out to the whole community,” said Byrd-King.