Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) has announced the launch of HUMANe HUMANs, a humane education program aimed at teaching pre-K through fifth grade students about the humane treatment of animals. They are currently offering a pilot version of the program to local teachers and administrators for second and fifth grade students, to promote kindness and compassion for animals and provide information about the role that SASF and shelters like it play in the community.
Created by New York State certified teachers and shelter staff, the HUMANe HUMANs lessons are designed to meet SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) standards, DASA (Dignity for All Students Act), Common Core and other state and federal mandates, and to align with current classroom study with no interruption to teacher outcomes. Educators can select from a series of mini-lessons, or warm-ups, and full lessons that offer opportunities in ELA, science, social studies, math, and STEAM. Each grade level will also produce a culminating project as part of the program.
To implement this, SASF is sending schools a full packet of lessons, as well as a resource guide with a list of recommended reading for classroom teachers and librarians. Participating educators are encouraged to bring students on a field trip to the shelter as part of their humane education, but it is not a requirement.
SASF offers four virtual classroom videos on their website, southamptonanimalshelter.com, to get kids started on their humane education. The videos — including “All About Animal Shelters,” “Wild vs. Companion Animals,” “Fostering a Shelter Pet” and “Build a Feral Cat Shelter” — will give anyone interested in this program a picture of what might be offered in the classroom.
If the HUMANe HUMANs pilot program is successful with second and fifth graders, SASF hopes to share plans for students in pre-K and kindergarten, as well as first, third and fourth grades. The end goal is to teach young people empathy and compassion, especially when it comes to animals, both wild and domestic.