November 10th, 2016
Our RedRover Readers volunteer facilitators are dedicated to making a difference in tomorrow’s world. Dr. Catherine Faver and Dr. Janet Martinez are two examples of compassion in action, as they inspire children to make the world a more compassionate place for people and animals.
Dr. Catherine Faver is a RedRover Readers trained facilitator who facilitates all of the RedRover Readers workshops in South Texas. As a Professor in the Department of Social Work at The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, Catherine is an accomplished writer and regularly contributes to the humane education field. She helps to coordinate RedRover Readers trainings, offers guidance to budding educators who are working with young children and supports her colleagues in the Social Work and Animal Welfare fields.
Our Director of Education and Outreach, Karly Noel, says, “Catherine is a warm-hearted person whose passion for helping others comes through every time I connect with her. I am grateful for Catherine not just because she volunteers her time and talents to help RedRover, but because knowing that there are role models like her makes me hopeful for a better tomorrow.”
When asked why she volunteers and what inspires her about RedRover, Catherine said, “Fostering empathy and critical thinking in children is one of the best ways I can imagine to help make the world a more compassionate place for animals and people. Every time I read the stories, I feel my own heart soften as I identify with vulnerable beings. RedRover Readers can help children discover for themselves the joy of responding to vulnerability with compassion.”
Dr. Janet Martinez is a Lecturer II in the Learning and Teaching department at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and works collaboratively with Catherine in the south of Texas. Janet took the RedRover Readers training years ago and decided her college students could benefit from the program as well. Now, she offers the RedRover Readers training to her college students, with extra credit for taking the program out into the community.
Karly says she is grateful for Janet’s “drive and determination. She juggles a young family and her career seamlessly and is a genuine and caring person. As a working mother myself, I admire the example she is setting for both her own children and her college students.”
Janet told us, “I am inspired by RedRover Readers because it provides a quality learning experience that benefits all the people and animals involved, and because I share the goal of being proactive in the protection of animals in future generations. By participating in this program, I feel I help create a better future for the society in which our children will live; which includes animals as part of our ecosystem.
“The benefits to my college students, many of whom will be future K-12 teachers, are immense. These future teachers learn about empathy and methods to help children become empathetic; they receive hands-on practice in lesson development, instruction implementation, and asking higher-order thinking questions; but most importantly, they learn to be non-judgmental about children’s responses and experiences.
“By helping my students become models of tolerance and empathy, I feel I am facilitating a program that will make a difference in tomorrow’s world.”
Learn how you can become a RedRover Readers volunteer at RedRover.org/ReadersTraining.