December 24, 2013 > Ohlone Humane Society Column: Keeping it kind
Ohlone Humane Society Column: Keeping it kind
By Nancy Lyon
2014! A new year and an old songÉ ÓWhat the world needs now is love, sweet loveÓÉ that keeps running through my mind. Sounds pleasant but what do the words really say? Well, to me, itÕs about non-violence, acceptance of our differences, compassion and kindness toward all beings.
A pretty tough order so where do you start? In a long ago conversation with a school teacher while discussing how to teach children about kindness toward animals, she wisely said, ÒYou have to reach young children before the world hardens them.Ó
That has always stayed with me but raises the questionÉ how do you reach very young kids?
One way is sponsoring a wonderful publication put out by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) called the Kind News. Kind News is an eight-page, bi-monthly magazine offered during the school year that is filled with animal-related articles, short features, and fun activities that children and teachers love. The animal-themed materials offer children an opportunity to put themselves in the place of other beings and become familiar with welfare issues, the environment, and habitat protection.
Its mission is aligned with National Education Standards and readily incorporated into subjects like math, science, and language arts or simply handed outÊfor students to read during free time or at home. It also supports the directive of the California State Board of Education Code that encourages each teacher to Ò...endeavor to promote harmonious relations, kindness toward domestic pets and the humane treatment of living creaturesÉÓ
There is a natural kinship that young people have with non-human animals, something special that reaches out and engages them on an empathetic level; and in support of this wonderful quality, the award-winning program provides lesson plans and worksheets that give teachers and humane educators means to encourage compassion and respect in an appealing manner that kids Òget.Ó
The goals and their presentation have so impressed OHS that for the past 10 years we have offered to adopt and sponsor all elementary classrooms Kindergarten-6th grade in the Tri-City area. Today with the number of area schools soaring to 42, we continue in our commitment of providing this outstanding resource to children.
We feel that the magazine's emphasis on values of fairness, compassion, respect, non-violent conflict resolution, and encouraging good character in children with its colorful design, simple vocabulary, and appealing subject matter will help get children into the reading habit and open a more humane world to them.
OHS wants to continue to nurture these wonderful qualities in children and early next spring we will again be contacting teachers and encouraging them to familiarize themselves with the material offered and hopefully participate in this enriching program Ð all at no cost.
Kind News can be reviewed at https://www.facebook.com/KindNewsMagazine and on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KindNewsMagazine.
Ohlone Humane Society is solely dependent on public support for its programs and is not associated with, nor receives any funding, from any national organization. Your support is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue in our humane mission.
Additional information about Ohlone Humane Society is available at: www.ohlonehumanesociety.org