One-of-a-kind literacy program helps children resolve conflicts, reject bullying and establish positive relationships
(April 4, 2011) – United Animal Nations (UAN), a national nonprofit animal protection organization based in
The $15,129 grant will help UAN provide training workshops in Denver so volunteers can implement the Humane Education Ambassador Reader (HEAR) program in third- through fifth-grade classrooms. HEAR is a one-of-a-kind program that uses story books and discussions to help children develop critical thinking skills and build empathy and compassion for both animals and people. HEAR aligns with academic content standards and, at a time when education and animal control budgets are being cut, has the power to reduce cruelty toward animals and build literacy skills. The program is offered at no charge.
According to UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth, HEAR fills a gap in current school curriculum by creating “social-emotional learning” environments where elementary-age students learn to develop concern for others, establish positive relationships, resolve conflicts, make humane choices and reject bullying behaviors.
“The HEAR program is different from any other humane education program out there because it asks children to think about what animals might be thinking, feeling and experiencing,” says Forsyth. “This reflection leads to greater empathy for animals and gives children a deeper understanding of what it means to coexist with other living beings.”
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, was established in 1995 to promote humane treatment of companion animals and to prevent cruelty to small animals, including wildlife. In carrying out the wishes of Mr. Scott, the trustees have made research, education and current interventions their priorities.
The program expansion into Denver will make possible a future research study on the effectiveness of the HEAR program, which UAN will undertake with the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver. UAN currently offers the HEAR program in 19 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
“At UAN, we feel strongly that we have a program that builds empathy for animals and for people, while also teaching other necessary academic and life skills,” Forsyth said. “Having the support of the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust to expand HEAR into Denver is the first step toward our goal of making humane education a regular part of the elementary school curriculum and guiding children to become moral, kind, just and engaged citizens.”
A HEAR training workshop will be held at the University of Denver on Saturday, April 9 and is open to community members, teachers and others interested in delivering the HEAR program to children in their communities. Learn more and register at www.uan.org/hear
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Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.uan.org.