October 3rd, 2022
As students face the repercussions of the past few years of isolation, classrooms need programs that encourage positive social interaction and peer-to-peer learning more than ever. Research continues to reveal the benefits of the human-animal bond for all people, but particularly for children who have experienced hardship and trauma (HABRI).
Since 2007, the RedRover Readers program has helped children develop empathy for people and animals through our classroom, story-based curriculum. We have held over 138 professional development workshops online and in-person, training 2,443 educators and volunteers in 18 states and provinces to promote kindness and social responsibility in the classroom.
To meet teachers’ needs, we have launched an on-demand version of the RedRover Readers workshop! Educators can now register and move through the course on their own time, with less than six hours of coursework. Plus, for a limited time, we are offering the workshop at a discounted rate of $35 per educator in honor of RedRover’s 35th anniversary. Teachers can submit this professional development opportunity to their district for up to five credit hours.
The first 35 registrations will be entered to win a RedRover Readers gift basket, including a RedRover Readers tote bag, lanyard, t-shirt, book, and a $25 VISA gift card.
In addition to our new on-demand workshop, RedRover Readers is excited to announce several new titles to our program along with several updates we’ve made to our existing curriculum to ensure it is more inclusive and accessible to all students and educators.
We’ve scoured bookshelves high and low for diverse children’s books that help promote the human-animal bond and found five new titles to add to our program. These books and their accompanying guides address crucial concepts such as understanding how relationships with animals or people can serve as social support, and how students’ decisions affect the communities around them.
This curriculum refresh aligns with RedRover’s larger organizational goals to become more inclusive, diverse, and equitable. These new books show characters from a variety of life circumstances to, as RedRover Readers education consultant Dr. Worokya Duncan shared, give kids “windows and mirrors” into the world.
Dr. Duncan shared, “When we think of education as both mirror and window, we should be able to see ourselves and we should be able to have the opportunity to see others as they define themselves … I see lots of windows, not enough mirrors, and [RedRover] is doing both.”
Diverse representation in children’s literacy benefits students’ overall social and emotional health by allowing children to see themselves represented as protagonists in stories. These stories also help begin conversations to help introduce classrooms and students to different cultures and people from around the world. Highlighting and supporting diverse authorship in humane-themed literature can help create a more equitable world for both children and animals.
Each new program book comes with new curriculum Teaching Guides to help reinforce social responsibility concepts:
After taking a RedRover Readers workshop online or in-person, educators and volunteers receive: