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July 29, 2013

Students Encouraged to be Leaders for Animals this School Year

Girl in classroom reading Kind News

Lisa J. Godfrey/for The HSUS

It’s back to school season, and students can make this school year more humane by making fun, school friendly decisions that have a positive impact on animals.

”Young people are increasingly at the forefront of the animal welfare movement,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “They are learning about the issues, educating their parents and classmates, and making practical decisions that improve the lives of animals.”

Some ideas for making the 2013-2014 school year humane include:

Educate your classmates. It’s the best way to make a change. Use research projects, term papers and other assignments as opportunities to educate your classmates about important animal issues. Visit our School Project Help page for ideas and background information about many animal issues.

Elementary school students will enjoy Kind News (humanesociety.org/kindnews), a magazine filled with colorful articles, short features and fun activities that children and teachers love, emphasizing treating animals with kindness and respect. Home and classroom subscriptions are available and come in three reading levels: Primary Edition (grades K-2), Junior Edition (grades 3-4), and Senior Edition (grades 5-6). Classrooms can also observe Be Kind to Animals Week, Adopt-a-Dog month and other observances.

Start or join a club. Starting or joining an animal protection student club is a great way to spread the word about animal issues in your school, and bond with classmates who have a passion for animal protection. Learn how to start a student club here.

Make biology class more humane. Students and teachers can choose to use alternatives to dissection, and our student action page on dissection provides guidance for students and teachers who want to create a humane biology classroom at their school.

Help your local animal shelter or rescue. Most organizations need blankets, toys and other supplies to care for their animals. Organize a drive to provide those supplies to your local shelter or rescue, or ask your classmates to donate their spare change to help animals in need. Service-learning hours can be fulfilled helping out at the shelter after school and on weekends. For more tips on how you can help your local shelter or rescue visit humanesociety.org/youthvolunteer.

Encourage your school to join the Meatless Monday movement. Meatless meals are delicious and humane. Many schools, universities and hospitals nationwide have implemented Meatless Monday programs to improve public health, promote environmental sustainability and reduce animal suffering. Click here to find out how to help your school join this growing movement. 

Make compassion your fashion. Take a stand against cruelty and join our Fur-free Facebook page and reference our handy fur-free shopping guide. Spread the word that compassionate fashion saves raccoon dogs, foxes, rabbits and other furbearers from needless suffering.

Be Cruelty-Free is the new trend: raise your voice against animal testing of cosmetics and visit our cosmetic testing page to learn more. For the new school year, choose your shampoo, styling gel, lip gloss or other cosmetics from a cruelty-free brand that you can find at leapingbunny.org.

Put your education to work. Local animal organizations are often in need of people with talent in art, photography, computer programming and web design; offer to put the skills you are learning at school into practice for them. Helping animal shelters or rescues may be a good way to receive credit if your school requires public service hours for graduation. Contact your local animal welfare organization directly to find out more, or visit humanesociety.org/volunteer.

Learn about animal protection. Middle and high school students can enroll in free online courses at Humane Academy (humanesociety.org/humaneacademy). Course offerings include how to strengthen animal cruelty laws, dissection alternatives and how to speak up on behalf of animals to lawmakers.

For more information and other ideas for students interested in speaking up for animals, visit humanesociety.org/students.

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