Things Kids Can Do
Kind Kids Club
Humane Society Youth
Humane Education Children'sBook Bibliography
me, I will forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I will understand.
Violence has become
one of the defining characteristics of our age. Even if it hasnt touched our
lives directly, we are confronted with the images and effects of it daily in the news.
Growing up humane in a violent world is not easy these days. Thats why
humane education can play an important role with programs that aim not only to
reinforce positive attitudes and behaviors towards all living things, but also discourage
negative ones. Children who grow up with positive attitudes may be more likely to
resist negative peer pressure later on. Children need to learn compassion and
empathy and also that they can make a difference.
Humane education is a process by
which a person comes to realize that all life is precious, and that there is an
interdependency between people and animals. Humane education is not a new
concept. As early as 1933, the National P.T.A. Congress recognized its importance by
issuing the following statement:
"Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just,
kind, and considerate in their relations with each other
The cultivation of the
spirit of kindness to animals is but the starting point towards that larger humanity which
includes ones fellow of every race and clime."
Humane education offers many
benefits including those outlined below by Everything Animals Resource and Activity Center
in Bullville, New York:
Promotes self-esteem and
empowers childrenCollecting towels, blankets,
toys, goodies, etc. for donation to a local animal shelter.
Participating in a
letter-writing campaign on an animal issue of their choice.
- Increases sense of
responsibility by teaching care-giving skills.
Assures children that they
are capable of giving and receiving unconditional love.
- Gives children concrete sense
that they are part of the world community.
- Gives children sense of
control within their environment.
Assists in the prevention of
Reveals through classroom
discussions relating to pets, possibly abusive situations in the home. Connection
between animal abuse and child abuse is well documents.
Helps a child develop the
ability to speak up for animals and may enable the child to speak up for him/herself in
the event of an abusive situation.
Helps children to transfer
natural feelings of compassion for animals to compassion for people.
Teaches children how their
actions directly impact others.
Promotes trusting and
Demonstrates the positive
results gained from loyalty, love and interdependency between people and pets thus leading
to similar positive behaviors between people and their neighbors.
Working with animals gives
children a sense of continuity that may not otherwise be present in their lives.
Promotes compassion for
Learning about an
animals natural environment and behavior helps children to understand and appreciate
By understanding needs of
others, children are better able to cope with differences.
- Helps model for children
proper caring behaviors.
Promotes health and
- Classes dealing with
communicable diseases can help to prevent their spread.
- Classes dealing with the
proper way to approach animals can help children to avoid animal bites, scratches or
- Helps to reinforce the
importance of good hygiene.
Assists in preventing future
- Teaches children respect for
- Teaches children that any
form of cruelty is not acceptable.
- Teaches children techniques
for working through problems with pets. Techniques that can then be transferred to
resolving conflicts with peers.
Some states, including New York,
mandate humane education in public elementary schools. Unfortunately, the law is not
applied or enforced evenly and, as a result, the amount and level of humane education in
our schools varies and in many cases is non-existent. While this situation needs to
be rectified, another way of providing this important type of education is through the
"Kind Kids Animal Lovers Club."
meeting of the Club, which is for children between the ages of 7-11, was held at the Gerritsen Beach Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on January 20, 2001.
Parents attended with their
children. Members of the club will meet monthly to learn more about animals and the
important role they play in our lives. They will be given the opportunity to develop
a greater understanding of the need to respect all living creatures both human and
non-human varieties. There will be special guest speakers and/or videos on a variety
of animal-related subjects. Participants will receive humane educational materials
at each meeting that they can share with family and friends and will receive free
subscriptions to humane educational newsletters designed specifically for children.
Any questions that arise from the material will be discussed at the following meeting.
The kids will have the opportunity
to recommend, select and work on a humane project which will by completed in early May to
coincide with "Be Kind to Animals Week. Project ideas include:
Developing, designing and
producing a pet care book for distribution to the community.
- Designing an exhibit for the
library, school or nature center on an animal issue such as pet overpopulation, littering,
handling of urban wildlife.
- Developing a campaign to
increase awareness of an animal issue such as the impact of littering on wildlife, the
ecological role played by horseshoe crabs, spiders, praying mantis (the kids will
choose) and the importance of not harming them. Producing flyers for distribution through
neighborhood stores and writing articles for the local papers to increase awareness of the
issue and promote the campaign.
- Identifying a worthy animal
charity and holding a fund-raiser such as a bake sale, flea market, etc.
Those kids who complete the
project will receive a special certificate commemorating their contribution to a kinder,
The Gerritsen Beach Club will
serve as a pilot program that, if successful, can be expanded to other age groups and
We would love to hear from you if
you have any suggestions for making this concept a successful reality.
Watch this site for
suggestions on starting a
Kind Kids Club
in your area
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