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September 3, 2010

Pa. High School Club Wins Award for Promoting Humane Eating, Educating Classmates on Animal Protection

The Great Valley High School Animal Protection Club of Malvern, Pa., has been selected as the "2010 Humane Society Youth Club Award" winner by The Humane Society of the United States. The award honors a K-12 youth club that has made a significant contribution to animal protection.

The Animal Protection Club participated in The HSUS’ Mission: Humane Friends for Hens project to encourage their school cafeteria to purchase cage-free eggs. The club met with the director of food service, the PTO, school superintendent, the founder of the Humane League of Philadelphia, and a local cage-free farmer to accomplish this feat. The club also rallied the support of classmates by producing an educational video that informed students of the plight of battery cage hens in factory farms.

Since the school is still required to purchase 20 percent of the eggs from the commodities program, students met with their senator for a cage-free commodity egg option law. Students are still working to accomplish this goal.

“Our meetings are a place to laugh, relax, socialize and work together,” said Alexis Tsiouris, Animal Protection Club advisor. “We make sure we focus on being honorable, educated, and compassionate students.”

Co-led by Tsiouris and Gina Valente, the club has committed hundreds of hours to a variety of campaigns and community service activities, including:

  • It Ought to Be a Law - In an attempt to mandate that the commodities program offer healthier options, the club entered The HSUS sponsored contest.
  • National Spay and Neuter Day - The club presented the Mainline Animal Rescue with the largest blanket/towel donation in their history. Each club member went door to door asking for donations of old towels and blankets, as the rescue was in dire need.
  • Chefs came to class! Two chefs from an acclaimed vegan restaurant presented a cooking demonstration and students learned health benefits and indulged in a delicious "faux tuna wrap." The demonstration aired on the community channel.
  • Spreading the Word - Club members created informational bulletin boards to educate students and faculty on: factory farming, animal testing on primates, pigeon shoots, puppy mills, tethered dogs, circus elephants, and the massacre of dolphins in Japan.  
  • Fundraising - The club responded to an incident of cruelty and raised reward money for two local dogs who were shot to death and left by railroad tracks.

“We want to congratulate the Animal Protection Club for their success in bringing a more humane food option to their cafeteria and yearlong work on behalf of so many animals in need,” said Heidi O’Brien, student outreach director for The HSUS. “The club is a perfect example of what can be achieved with strong leadership and many enthusiastic and hardworking students.”

For their efforts, the Animal Protection Club received a library of animal protection books, a certificate of appreciation, and a feature on the HumaneTeen website, humanesociety.org/teens.

To read more about the Animal C.A.R.E. Club and other young people at work for animals, visit humanesociety.org/teens (“Humane Profiles”).

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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