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October 4, 2005 > Teaching that no act of kindness is ever wasted

Teaching that no act of kindness is ever wasted

by Nancy Lyon

If you are a Tri-City teacher you are probably aware that the California Education Code includes "...the promotion of harmonious relations, kindness toward domestic pets and the humane treatment of living creatures..."

There can be little doubt that this compassionate directive is a very important part of a young child's education. Yet effectively implementing this teaching can strain available funding especially when school budgets are feeling a serious financial crunch. However, help is just waiting for teachers and school librarians to take advantage of classroom assistance to meet state humane education laws -- help that is available through the Ohlone Humane Society's Humane Education Program.

Through humane education children learn about caring for animals in our homes and communities. It is about fostering kindness, respect and empathy for both humans and animals, and looking after the environment and its diverse habitats and wildlife. Unlike science and other academic disciplines, humane education has a philosophical component that strives to establish a sense of responsibility and make the world a better, more humane place.

For the fifth year, OHS continues to offer an Adopt-a-Classroom sponsorship of the KIND News, a publication of the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), the youth education affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). NAHEE is an award winning, non-profit organization whose mission is to instill good character in children. Their strong emphasis is on the humane treatment of animals and respect for natural habitat by providing effective, high quality publications and programs to teachers, students, and animal sheltering professionals.

KIND News is an acronym for "Kids In Nature's Defense," a wonderful weekly newspaper that provides good news for kids during the school year. It features articles, puzzles and celebrity interviews that teach children the value of kindness and respect for animals, the environment and to each other. It focuses on teaching fairness, compassion, and responsibility; attributes that encourage good character in children.

KIND Club projects include recycling, making welcome packets for new students, collecting supplies for animal shelters, making earth friendly cleaners, and educating others about responsible animal care. NAHEE provides programs that "develop self-esteem by teaching children that their actions can make a difference, that no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."

A subscription also includes KIND Teacher, a resource book of reproducible worksheets, KIND ID cards for the students, a classroom poster, historical trivia, fun facts, and tips on helping animals and the environment. One teacher responded that "You have given my third-graders a true love of reading. Even reluctant readers anticipate KIND News day."

As a working partner with NAHEE and HSUS, the Ohlone Humane Society values the teachings of this organization so highly that it is listed with NAHEE as a program supporter and offers a number of sponsorships for Tri-City classes K-6 and elementary school libraries. If you are a teacher or have children in school who would be interested in participating in this immensely valuable program, contact OHS at (510) 792-4587. Subscriptions for the current school year will continue to be accepted through January 1; you can get an early start for next year.

Let's work together to make our children's world a better and kinder place.

We invite you to visit and explore the NAHEE website at

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