Mimi, atop a tower of donated food.
Twelve-year-old Mimi Ausland launched a website to collect food for animals at the local humane society; 7-year-old Brianna Zeiberg asked for donations instead of presents at her birthday party and raised more than $1,300; 15-year-old Ayna Agarwal founded a program to spay and neuter cats and dogs worldwide and was featured on CNN’s "Young People Who Rock"—these are just a few of the many extraordinary kids and teens who used their time off this summer to take action for animals.
I’ve previously profiled several young animal advocates here on my blog (like Haley Ham and Caesar Rojas) and The HSUS’s youth education division, Humane Society Youth, recognizes them year-round. But now that students are back to school, our Humane Society Youth staff are focused on the classroom, making sure at least some of the classroom experience is built around fostering humane sensibilities.
We’ve sent the September issue of KIND News, our classroom newspaper, to 1 million K-6 students. We’re schooling middle- and high-school students in animal protection through our new Humane High School online program. And we’re helping students to build school-based animal protection clubs.
We also offer students dissection alternative materials, step-by-step projects to raise awareness about key animal protection issues, and HSUS cause gear, so they can display our ideas on their clothing.
If you have a school-age child, be sure to point them to humanesociety.org/youth and help them discover the many ways they can get active for animals. Or if you know an elementary student, consider a KIND News gift subscription for his or her classroom, or for your neighborhood school.
Humane Society Youth is exploring new ways to nourish every young person’s instinctive love for animals, and to instill that ethic not as a hobby or passing fancy or phase, but as a permanent feature of their daily life.