Thousands of teachers in Los Angeles went on strike, protesting for better pay and smaller class sizes.
The strike didn’t leave some students with many options.
"All of our teachers are on strike right now, so there's nothing to do but sit at home," says middle schooler Annie Bernstein.
Another student, 13-year-old Mia Sweeney, agrees.
"I would probably either have to go to my mom's work, or I would have to stay home with my dad," Sweeney explains.
Then, like fellow student Kayla Colbert, they saw a chance.
"I was looking at the news stories about the strike and I saw that the animal shelter was holding a program where kids could come and help out," Cobert says.
It was a chance to volunteer at a Los Angeles animal shelter.
"They're helping us run the facility and helping us keep things comfy and exciting for the animals," says Los Angeles Animal Services’ Carolyn Almos.
Almos says they've put dozens of students to work at their shelters during the strike. While volunteering at the shelter, the students experience what it takes to care for dogs and cats without a home.
"The kids have been a huge help,” Almos says. “They've actually worked really hard they've been doing some pretty unglamorous things."
When the students go back to the classroom, and the teachers put the picket signs away, these days out of school won't be a total waste for these students, who are getting hands-on experience outside the classroom.