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Volunteer Spotlight: One Woman’s Experience Teaching School Kids To Treat Animals Kindly

Students from Ms. Bailey’s class at Garehime Elementary learned how to treat animals kindly.

One of the fun aspects of volunteering with Heaven Can Wait Animal Society is that you never know where the experience will take you. When Kris Foote wrote on her volunteer application that she loved animals and kids, she didn’t expect to become a weekly guest teacher for five different second and third grade classes.

Kris Foote took on a huge project for Heaven Can Wait when she helped us expand our Angels for Animals humane education program into two new elementary schools. Before Kris came along, the program was available for teachers who wanted to download it for use in their classroom. But with Kris’ help the program was brought to even more Clark County students.

Kris traveled to Sheila Tarr and Edith Garehime Elementary Schools teaching second and third graders about being kind to animals.

The four week lesson plan included:

  • Pets R Part Of Our Family – responsible pet guardianship
  • Please Don’t Litter – pet overpopulation and the spay and neuter solution
  • Animal Cruelty – breaking the chain of animal abuse
  • Feral Cats – the tragedy of stray cats

Kris said she had a wonderful time working with the kids. “The children were very bright and very interested in the lessons,” said Kris. “They asked good questions. I felt like I helped instill empathy about animals in the students. It was very rewarding.”

Ms. Bailey's class talked about the problem of "too many pets" in our community.

The Angels for Animals humane education program was created by Clark County teacher and HCWS board member, Kim Yates. It is free to every teacher and can be downloaded on the Heaven Can Wait website.

Here are a few examples of the students’ reactions to the lessons they learned:

1.”If everyone had their cats and dogs spayed and neutered, wouldn’t cats and dogs become extinct?”

2. During the Please Don’t Litter class, Kris put up pictures of houses with velcro dots on them and the kids placed animals on the velcro dots (2 per house). When the houses were full, the students put 4 animals in a shelter. When the shelter was full, there were animals left over.

“We were talking about what happens to those animals who do not have a home or a shelter to go to, and that they may need to be put to sleep and go to heaven,” said Kris. “Right after the exercise, one student asked what if everyone was rich. In further talking to him, he was thinking if everyone were rich, all of the animals would have homes, or additional shelters could be built so there would be no homeless animals.”

3. During another session, Kris asked for a volunteer to come up and read a book out loud to the rest of the class. One second grade girl raised her hand for the job. When she walked up to Kris she said, “I can’t read very well, but I really want to do this.”

The students wrote stories, completed math problems, and came up with great ideas to help homeless pets.

During the four-week program the second and third graders, wrote stories about pets being part of a family, completed math problems that taught about pet overpopulation and came up with ideas on how to stop animal abuse. They also put together toys for the dogs enrolled in Heaven Can Wait’s Pups on Parole program.

Share your talents with Heaven Can Wait and the animals we rescue by completing a volunteer application – Here. Volunteer orientations are held every month.

The kids put together toys for the dogs rescued by HCWS and waiting for new homes.

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