Last week, ECPR had the privilege of teaching Humane Education to a few groups of wonderful students at Roxhill Elementary and Highland Park Elementary for their Summer Staircase programs. The program serves students from Kindergarten through Fourth Grade. During our first visit, we discussed the world of Rescue with the kids focusing on Respect and Responsibility when it comes to caring for animals. We did a “game” in which we had the kids tell us what they need to be healthy and happy in life (food, love, a home, etc) and then we asked them what they think animals need. We let them realize that animals need a lot of the same things we do. That helped them understand the Responsibility in caring for an animal. We split the students up into groups and discussed Empathy. We gave the students little stories about different animals and we had them tell us what they think happened to the animals and how they could help the animal.
During our second visit, we brought a group of dogs for them to meet. Our ambassador dogs had a wonderful time as always, but we also brought ECPR adoptable pup, Fran! Fran is an eight-year-old mini poodle mix who adores attention and loves dogs, cats, and humans of all ages. She is hoping to find a loving, mellow home where she can get lots of snuggles!
We had another opportunity to emphasize Respect and Responsibility, and safe and proper ways to greet and pet dogs.
A few of the students in the program were in last summer’s program as well. One of the kids last year was very fidgety and a bit disruptive, but this year he was very calm. One of the dogs we brought who can often be a bit shy crawled right into this student’s lap. (His was the only lap that she crawled into on her own.) He was so happy that she wanted to visit him! He was very gentle and compassionate to her. It is amazing for us to witness how animals can really bring out a deeper understanding of compassion and empathy in others, not to mention the pure joy that we see on students’ faces when the dogs approach them and ask for their love and attention. We are thrilled for opportunities to reach out to our Seattle community and offer these programs to children of all ages. These educational visits remind us once again that Love Can Save Lives!