Teaching compassion from a young age
OAA partners with RedRover to train educators in developing a human education curriculum. In October 2022, RedRover launched a new on-demand version of the RedRover Readers Workshop to better meet the needs of teachers. Now educators can register and move through the course on their own time, at their own pace. This online workshop will prepare teachers for a social and emotional learning curriculum and help children explore the human-animal bond through stories and discussion. RedRover also released a Teacher’s Action packet, which guides teachers on how to switch to humane dissection alternatives in their classroom.
OAA works with individual educators and librarians across Ohio to strategize on unique projects that advance humane education in their schools, and/or provide service projects that benefit the community. Research shows that service-learning positively affects youth in three general areas: academic engagement and achievement, civic attitudes and behaviors, and social and person skills.
OAA, working with educators and librarians, identifies human education readers that focus on the human-animal bond, and the discussions after readings of these books are meant to explore children’s own experiences and beliefs, regardless of their background. Humane education books that OAA has utilized are:
- Cookies Fortune
- Buddy Unchained
- The Forgotten Rabbit
- Nobody’s Cats
- Max Talks to Me
- Thinker, My Puppy Poet and Me
- Kamie Cat’s Terrible Night
- Pablo Puppy’s Search for the Perfect Person
These high-quality texts are often paired with visual and instructional tools including Good Dog in a Box, Doggone Safe, From Nose to Tail produced by HSUS, Empathy Resources for At-Home Learning by RedRover, and Heart.
Ohio Animal Advocates is actively working with Ohio elementary schools, humane organizations and partners on human education projects by:
- Providing humane education training to OAA Board members, staff and Ohio teachers and librarians through RedRovers humane education training course.
- Donating multiple copies of five different RedRover Readers to the Stewart Elementary School/Columbus School District library for all grade levels.
- Arranging during the COVID pandemic virtual RedRover Readings for Stewart Elementary and Johnnycake Corners Elementary/Olentangy School District.
- Partnering with Johnnycake Corners Elementary to launch the Johnnycake Corners Kind Kids Program – whereby an after-school program for all grades will teach empathy for animals, certify the students as Kind Kids with the end goal of a service project coordinated with the Humane Society of Delaware County (HSDC). The culminating project of supporting the HSDC by creating educational videos and pictures about animal care and reporting animal neglect will certainly be a powerful and meaningful project. The students will learn to convey what they have learned, and the empathy they have gained, to a wider community audience, and see how they can make a difference for animals in their county.
- Donating 15 copies of 8 different RedRover and Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) Readers to Johnnycake Corners Elementary for the Kind Kids Program project.
- Donating 10 copies of two different AWI Readers to Stewart Elementary.
OAA believes Johnnycake Corners Kind Kids Program is a model program to share with other teachers for replication throughout Ohio. A key selling point is the opportunity for a program with a service-learning project, that can be conducted in a small group, that adds the opportunity for interaction and contribution to the community at a time when other service-learning projects may be restricted. OAA recognizes the importance of offering humane education during a time when domestic violence and animal abuse has increased due to several factors including isolation, concern over COVID-19, and economic stress.