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Bennington County Humane Society (dba Second Chance Animal Center): Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Grant funds received from the Petfinder Foundation were used to underwrite costs associated with our humane-education program. Approximately 1/3 of the funds were used to support one week of our Animal Adventure (summer) Camp for children ages 5-6 and the remaining 2/3 were used to support the work of our Education Director to implement our in-class CARE (Children & Animals Relationship Education) for the period of October through December 2017.

The summer camp session supported by this grant is called "Little Critters" and is an introduction to compassionate animal care for children ages 5-6. Besides a visit to our shelter to learn about the importance of animal socialization, children participate in craft activities, story time, and cooperative games with their fellow campers. Funds from this grant were used to support the two staff positions required to implement this program. A total of 15 children attended this half-day camp session.

At the close of the summer-camp session, our Education Director undertook the task of contacting, scheduling, and implementing our in-class education program, CARE. This staff member creates and sets the program curriculum, then contacts Bennington County prekindergarten and elementary school teachers to offer this fee-waived instruction in their classrooms. For the period of October through December 2017, for which this grant assisted, monthly lesson plans were created to include "I'm a Friend to Animals," "C is for Cat," and "Staying Safe Around Dogs." During this period, she instructed 1,162 children each month in 39 classes in a total of 16 schools. These monthly instructions include shelter-animal visits in the classroom, activities to reinforce the humane lessons, and games to help children better understand the lessons.

See below.

How many pets did this grant help?

Not Applicable

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One way that this grant assisted with the animals in our care is to provide a socialization platform. Besides enriching the lives of children with the visit of a shelter animal, these animals benefit greatly from being around children and building their ability to interact with people of all ages. More importantly, this grant helped us to instruct the youth of our community and to teach them how to be compassionate toward companion animals and the community animals they see around them.

Further Reading