November 10th, 2021
Our Education Coordinator, Tara Lenehan, spoke with RedRover Readers volunteer Angie Sagliani to learn more about how she’s using the curriculum in her community. Angie works for the Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC) as the Humane Educator and recently introduced the program to the Ojai Library in Tara’s hometown. Angie took the RedRover Readers volunteer course in October 2020, on the recommendation of her predecessor.
What do you like most about the RedRover Readers program?
Before being a Humane Educator for HSVC, I was a classroom teacher and loved reading aloud to my students. When I signed up to take the RedRover Readers course, I felt like I had stumbled across gold. The animal-themed books are a great way to engage youth audiences. While engaging with the literature, the listeners are asked to respond to open-ended questions which can spark great discussions. I also really appreciate that the stories in the program are told from the perspective of the animal, creating opportunities to see another’s viewpoint. While engaging in perspective taking, I believe the goal is for [creating] more empathetic animal friends, and I believe that learning to be empathetic can lead to better conditions for all life on this great planet.
What was it like when you did your first reading?
It was a small enthusiastic live audience. It was the first live audience I had since the start of the pandemic. I felt very fortunate to get a captivated audience and would have preferred my first reading to be quality over quantity and that’s what I got. Hopefully, as we start to come out of Covid restrictions, I’m sure the audiences will grow. I believe these programs will make a great impact in my community and so many communities looking to explore the relationship between humans and animals.
What are your humane education goals? How would you like to see your program grow, and who would you like to reach?
My goal is to create a comprehensive humane education program for youth audiences. The reason is to inspire learners to be curious about the natural world and understand the connections between humans, non-human animals and the environment. I feel very close to that goal by working with HSVC because I am able to learn from the shelter and promote lessons of being compassionate toward animals.
Ideally, I would love to create equitable access to humane education programs in schools, after-school settings, and any organization looking to explore humane education topics. I am lucky to be in the humane education practitioner cohort at the University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection. By participating in this professional development, I should have programming ready to be implemented in my local community by next year.
Is there anything else you’d like our supporters to know about you?
I dream of seeing more teachers using humane education pedagogy in their classrooms. I truly appreciate the work that RedRover does to promote animal advocacy and the human-animal bond. And I hope that I can do my part as a volunteer to continue to promote a beautiful message of empathy towards animals.
Learn more about the program at RedRover.org/Readers >>