The Santa Barbara Humane Society provides humane education opportunities for local youth through its summer Critter Camp, academic year classroom presentations and group shelter tours
Just in time for back to school, nonprofit Santa Barbara Humane Society is bringing valuable learning experiences to children in elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara County through its Humane Education program.
“Our classroom presentations align with our mission to foster a lifelong dedication for the kind and responsible treatment of animals” said Peggy Langle, Santa Barbara Humane Society Executive Director. “Our presentations are tailored to inspire youth to gain empathy and respect for all living things, including each other.”
Since 1949, the Santa Barbara Humane Society has been providing classroom presentations that are tailored to children from preschool through sixth grade as a community service. Each class is age-appropriate and meets the state-mandated requirements for teaching Humane Education.
All the classes are interactive with all students encouraged to participate. The five presentations currently offered are:
- Pet Pals (Preschool – second grade) explores the responsibility of taking good care of a pet and how to be safe around a dog. They’re taught the right way to greet and pet a dog with a chance to pet Faith, the friendly education dog!
- Urban Wildlife (Second grade – fourth grade) focuses on learning the differences between domestic and wild animals. This presentation encourages empathy to understand wild animals and peacefully coexist with them.
- Pet Detectives (Second grade – fifth grade) teaches students how to read a dog’s body language. The children learn how dogs express their feelings through nonverbal communication. Appropriate behavior is emphasized to prevent dog bites and foster an overall good relationship with pets.
- Endangered Species (Fourth grade – sixth grade) discusses the causes and prevention of wildlife endangerment and extinction. Special focus is centered on how they can help to make a difference.
- Compassionate & Responsible Care of Pets (Fifth grade – sixth grade) offers an in-depth look at animal neglect, abuse, abandonment and over-population. Solutions are discussed including compassionate care, education, adoption and spay and neuter programs.
At the end of each class the children learn the proper and safe way to greet and pet a dog. Faith, the education dog, visits each classroom and happily lets each child pet her after the presentation.
These classes are also offered to community organizations, however all requests for Humane Education presentations must come from qualified teachers and educators.
A variety of Humane Education programs run year-round. In-classroom programs and group shelter tours are offered throughout the academic year. In the summer week-long sessions of “Critter Camp” is offered to children entering fourth through sixth grade and teaches companion animal care through animal-related presentations, activities and crafts.
Participants in the 2016 Summer Critter Camp get up close and personal with pet reptiles, one of the many camp activities designed to teach kids about the humane treatment of animals.
Educators can visit sbhumanesociety.org for more information.