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August 24, 2010

Survey Says: Humane Education Works!

Annual teacher survey indicates KIND News teaches kids to be more compassionate to animals and each other

Two girls read KIND News

The HSUS

 

How do you use KIND News? What does your class like best—and least—about it? Do the articles and activities affect the way your students treat animals? The environment? Each other? If you could change anything about KIND News, what would it be?

 

In publishing KIND News, our mission is to instill good character in children, with a strong emphasis on the humane treatment of animals and respect for natural habitats. Are the values central to our mission embraced by teachers? Does KIND News foster those values in its young readers?

Each year, 400 randomly selected KIND teachers are asked to participate in a survey to determine what they perceive to be our publication’s strengths and weaknesses and to learn more about our readership, its demographics, and its needs.

Teachers weigh in

Our 2010 teacher survey indicated a high degree of satisfaction with KIND News and confidence in its effectiveness. Of the 400 teachers contacted, 194 sent back completed questionnaires, for a 49% response rate. As a supplementary resource, KIND News earned a rating of "excellent" or "very good" from 86% of teachers. Seventy-six percent of respondents indicated that they use KIND News in their classrooms, and 88% reported that their students take the newspaper home.

At least 83% of KIND teachers regard as "very important" teaching children to respect wildlife and the environment and to care responsibly for pets, and 96% say that KIND News has increased students’ knowledge of and interest in humane issues, such as the role of animal shelters and the preservation of endangered species. Similarly, at least 93% report that KIND News has raised students’ concern about the welfare of animals and protection of the environment.

"I absolutely love KIND News and so do my students. I appreciate the real stories and practical suggestions the publication shares with us. We read it from front to back, and then my students always ask if they can share it with their families as well."

In terms of behavioral outcomes, the majority of teachers—74%—believe that consistent exposure to KIND News has improved their students’ treatment of one another. Since 1998, when we began maintaining its survey data, teachers’ ratings of the usefulness and effectiveness of KIND News have remained steadily high in all categories.

In their own words

We also ask teachers to tell us what they think of KIND News in their own words. Here are just a few of the comments we received in our 2010 survey:

"I think KIND News is an exceptional publication that allows me to broaden lesson plans and activities. The students enjoy reading the articles and discussing them with each other as they complete the activities. We often use the information to help us brainstorm and actively learn new research skills. Thank you for your commitment to helping promote animal conservation and well-being." -sixth-grade teacher

"I teach in a multi-age (second- through fifth-grade) classroom. My classroom is an ‘alternative classroom’ servicing elementary students from the district who have been unsuccessful in the traditional setting. Many of the students have either been expelled or on the verge of expulsion. These tangled students are typically unmotivated with school work. KIND News sparks their interest and entices my students to read. We find many great discussions centered around topics included in the issues. Every month, research opportunities are presented to learn more about one of the issue’s topics. Many Character Education learning/teaching moments are also pursued via KIND News! It is a powerful resource in my classroom."

"I absolutely love KIND News and so do my students. I appreciate the real stories and practical suggestions the publication shares with us. It has inspired us to get involved with our community and even write letters to our governor. It has also been a great springboard for writing activities in the classroom. We read it from front to back, and then my students always ask if they can share it with their families as well. I love sharing KIND News with my kids!" - third-grade teacher

Adopt-a-Classroom to spread KIND News

Increase the kindness in your community! The vast majority of teachers who get KIND News receive it via our Adopt-A-Classroom program, through which parents, grandparents, humane organizations, local businesses, and community groups provide gift subscriptions. At only $25 per year per classroom (with discounts and fundraising opportunities available for animal care and control organizations), the cost is minimal—and the benefits are priceless.

 

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