THE WORLD OF ANIMALS IN THE 21st CENTURY
Humane Society & ASPCA Programs Teach Children
Is it true that if a young boy abuses his dog, he will ultimately be violent towards his peers later on in life? Countless studies by the FBI in sociology and psychology over the last 30 years have shown that violent criminals frequently have serious childhood encounters with recurring animal cruelty. In the last decade, associations like the ASPCA and the Humane Society have developed education programs directed towards youth, in order to reach out towards children and adolescents and teach them about animal responsibility, kindness towards animals, and general human decency.
In an interview with Joanne Pentangalo, Manager of Humane Education at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Pentangalo discussed the ASPCA’s efforts to develop its youth education programs, which are fortunately, succeeding! These education programs are available all over New York City, from inner-city schools, to college classrooms. They not only teach youth about caring for animals, but also train teachers to incorporate humane education into their daily lesson plans. According to Joanne, these programs strive to “empower youth and let them know that they too can make a difference in their communities.” The ASPCA’s Humane Education section publishes child friendly newsletters entitled “Animalessons,” which are quarterly newsletters that include topical articles on animals, as well as fun worksheets for children. Humane Education also includes “Henry’s Book Club,” centered on animal literature for children ages 5 and up. Finally, the ASPCA’s Humane Education curriculum has fascinating classroom programs, which are based on anything from pet care, to careers with animals, to service learning projects, such as car wash fundraisers sponsoring local animal shelters.
Through learning about animal body language, children can develop exceptional patience skills that can be useful among their peers. Responsible pet care and community service projects teach children cooperation and respect. Humane Education allows youth to develop in unique ways that may not be found in the classroom or home. Humane Education, therefore, offers youth a rare type of education that is almost always beneficial.
“Children have a natural empathy towards animals, and these Humane Education programs challenge them to do something for these animals, as well as for the world around them,” Joanne told Education Update. These Humane Education programs are reaching out to children because they make up the generation that is most capable of making a difference in our world. If children learn early on the responsibilities that come with caring for animals, they will ultimately be more aware of their peers and the world around them. Humane Education is about establishing a sense of duty, and as such, helping to make the world a better place.
For more information, visit the ASPCA Humane Education website at www.aspcaeducation.org.#