Where We Stand: Nicole Forsyth on Social Justice

In light of the events at the United States Capitol building, read the full statement from President & CEO Nicole Forsyth about our stance on social and racial justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about our programs, donations and general information. Use the dropdown menu to select a category or enter keywords in the search bar. If you have a question that you don’t see here, please email us at info@RedRover.org. For Kind News magazine FAQs, please click here.

  • The Kind News FAQs have moved to our new Kind News website. Visit KindNews.org/faq to view the full list.

    Kind News FAQs
  • RedRover Readers works to further strengthen the human-animal bond by helping children, ages 5-11, develop the steps necessary for empathy: recognize human and animal emotions, share emotions and regulate emotions in order to connect in positive ways with others.. Read more about the program, watch our video and view our infographic (PDF).

  • Over 10 years. The RedRover Readers program was launched in 2007.

  • Third- and fourth-grade students. Cognitively speaking, children at this age are developing the complex perspective-taking skills that are needed to take the perspectives of the characters – both human and non-human – in the stories and understand that their perspective might be different from their peers. Perspective-taking is a precursor for building empathy.

    Children in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade also have participated in the RedRover Readers program and were highly engaged.

  • The RedRover Readers curriculum is a collection of Discussion and Activity Guides designed for specially chosen, high-quality children’s literature coupled with specific question strategies, discussion techniques and follow-up activities.

  • Educators are encouraged to take the RedRover Readers training.

  • As a teacher, you can take the training and learn how to implement the innovative RedRover Readers curriculum. Before 2013, volunteers visited classrooms and implemented the RedRover Readers curriculum. Volunteers are available only in select cities in the United States and Canada. Because we do not have volunteers in every city, teachers everywhere are encouraged to take the training and use the curriculum with their own students. Teachers who have participated in the RedRover Readers program report using the curriculum in other areas of their teaching and that they know much more about their students as a result of the program.

  • Inverness Research Inc. conducted a pilot research study to investigate the effectiveness of the RedRover Readers curriculum, then called the Humane Education Ambassador Readers (HEAR) program, in 2009. The researchers found that the RedRover Readers program:

    • Builds self-esteem and motivates students to take an important subject seriously
    • Stimulates additional student-directed learning
    • Builds students’ knowledge and potentially affects their behaviors related to caring for pets
    • Builds students’ empathy and compassion for pets

    Read the full research report

    We also worked with Dr. Emanuel Castano from The New School for Social Research to publish The Relationship Between Humane Interactions with Animals, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior among Children (Wice et. al., 2020) in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin. It is available by clicking here.

    In order to tell if the program has benefited students, RedRover has identified two validated measures to assess the effectiveness of the RedRover Readers curriculum. Please email Readers@redrover.org and request the measures.

  • After completing the RedRover Readers training you are given access to the RedRover Readers curriculum online.

  • Thank you for wanting to promote the RedRover Readers program. Please share the RedRover Readers infographic with them.

    Stay Informed! Sign up for our quarterly Teachers’ Humane Education (THE) enewsletter.

  • RedRover offers online and in-person professional development workshops. These trainings are geared toward educators but all are welcome to attend. Learn more at www.RedRover.org/Readers-Training.  

  • RedRover provides on-site professional development workshops to school districts and individual elementary schools wanting to adopt RedRover Readers curriculum. The registration fee for individual educators to attend the online training is $79. Take a look at this informational flyer for further information or email Readers@redrover.org to request testimonials from teachers and students about the program.

  • Please report your use of the program on the confidential resource page. If you no longer have this link, please email Readers@redrover.org to request that the reporting link be resent to you.

  • RedRover does not sell the books that are used in the RedRover Readers curriculum. The books are available at local bookstores, libraries and from online retailers such as Powells.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. RedRover has a book loan program. We can loan you the books to use for your readings and then you ship them back to us when you are done reading.

  • Attend the online professional development training to learn how to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum or find a workshop near you.

  • Yes, once you have taken the RedRover Readers training, you can implement the program through your organization. Please credit RedRover on your website and make mention of the “RedRover Readers” curriculum when implementing it.

  • RedRover Readers curriculum is designed to be implemented without a live companion animal such as a dog present, so it is best to leave your dog at home.

    The goal of the RedRover Readers program is different from read-to-dogs programs. RedRover is focused on building empathy, critical thinking and positive relationship skills. Read-to-dogs programs are designed to increase a child’s confidence in reading aloud and have other benefits unique from the RedRover Readers program. RedRover sets the stage for other programs, like reading to dogs or traditional shelter-based humane education, to be used more effectively following the RedRover Readers curriculum.

  • As a teacher, you can take the training and learn how to implement the innovative RedRover Readers curriculum. Before 2013, volunteers visited classrooms and implemented the RedRover Readers curriculum. Volunteers are available only in select cities in the United States and Canada. Because we do not have volunteers in every city, teachers everywhere are encouraged to take the training and use the curriculum with their own students. Teachers who have participated in the RedRover Readers program report using the curriculum in other areas of their teaching and that they know much more about their students as a result of the program.

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