January 11th, 2021
The RedRover Readers program continues to grow, thanks to passionate educators across the country. We recently partnered with the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Department to bring humane education and social and emotional learning to after-school staff and students who participate in the Winners Reaching Amazing Potentials (WRAP) after-school program. Thanks to Judy Crumpton, a RedRover Readers Champion and sponsor of the workshops, we are able to introduce the curriculum to the Long Beach community.
Judy Crumpton, a former preschool teacher, discovered humane education when she became active in animal welfare. In addition to being a former preschool teacher and co-chair for the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Animal Cruelty Prevention Conferences, Judy is a children’s library clerk specializing in preschool story hour. Through her experiences in both humane education and animal welfare, Judy saw firsthand the impact of reading to children, especially if the books are about animals, and how literature can be a powerful learning tool.
When Judy learned of the RedRover Readers program, she felt it was the perfect fit for schools and youth groups. She introduced the program to the city of Long Beach’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department for their after-school and WRAP programs. The department agreed to start training staff in early 2021 and plans to bring the curriculum to eight locations to start, with the possibility for expansion in the future. In total, 80 staff members will be trained virtually to become RedRover Readers certified!
Judy says that working with RedRover Readers has been one of the most rewarding experiences she’s had with humane education. The program encourages critical thinking skills and character values such as empathy, compassion, kindness, and respect for other living beings through beautifully illustrated animal-themed books. There’s also the popular Kind News magazine, filled with engaging stories and easy-to-follow teaching guides for educators and parents. RedRover donated five hundred back issues to the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department’s after-school program last summer and the kids absolutely loved them!
Judy’s goal is to have the RedRover Reader’s program in every parks and recreation department throughout California. She feels it’s a win-win for the children, for animals, and for all communities. She also strongly believes that programs such as RedRover Readers have the potential to curtail violent behavior and may help pave the way for children to make “kind choices” throughout their lives.