Tips on How to Include Humane Education Into Daily Activities
Learning Leads To Understanding
Take a class. Read a book. Talk to other educators. Learn how people “learn” and understand child development and age appropriate programs.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find materials that are already developed. Modify existing programs for your own use.
Organize your programs before you start. Who is your audience? What are the needs of your community? Who is going to present the program? What is your budget?
Remember every public contact is an opportunity to educate. Think about the messages you send out. What does your vehicle look like? What kind of signage do you have? What literature do you distribute in the field and at your shelter? Positive attitudes and professionalism lead to good customer relations and teachable moments.
Develop child friendly materials. Make them informative and fun. Kids love activity sheets, give-a-ways, and collectibles. Don’t forget to make materials age appropriate. Older kids will be turned off by coloring books; younger kids can’t possibly understand spay/neuter messages.
Practice your skills with a friend. Think about eye contact, gestures, posture, tone of voice, and choice of words. Be enthusiastic — if you’re not, they certainly won’t be.
Be Creative and Interactive
School programs aren’t always the answer. They require a good understanding of the educational system and child development. Assemblies are not always the best use of your time. Consider alternatives: working with smaller groups of kids; community service projects; teacher training; partnering with other organizations; and providing materials for classroom use.
Develop a traveling exhibit for community events like family expos, block fairs, health fairs and school career days. Think colorful. Think portable. Think changeable.
Practice What You Preach
Be a good role model. Follow your own rules and regulations. Share materials and knowledge with your co-workers and city officials.
Be Open and Honest
Be truthful. Share information. Take the time to explain. Remember, a short upbeat honest conversation can be a teachable moment.
© 2001 ASPCA
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