PR Newswire - Lois Pope was searching for the perfect 10th birthday gift for her grandson Reeve. Knowing that Reeve has had a special affinity for animals since he was a mere toddler – he has two English bulldogs, two Rottweilers and several ponies – and that it's never too early in one's life to learn and have compassion and respect for animals, Mrs. Pope knew that the gift that would be most meaningful to him would be something animal-related.
The result is a 10th birthday present that is better than any box wrapped in festive paper and a bow could ever hold. Mrs. Pope has partnered with American Humane Association to create the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, a nationwide after-school program where students engage in a humane education curriculum and built on the pillars of character, compassion, and respect.
The project is an innovative, new year-round extension of American Humane Association's century-old humane education program Be Kind to Animals Week, which has taught generations of American children the importance of caring for all living things. The first of these clubs will launch on Friday, February 15, at the Sagemont School in Weston, Fla. where Reeve Pope is the president.
"I'm so pleased that my grandson Reeve shares my love for animals. He's a 'dog-a-holic' like me," Mrs. Pope said. "Through the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, he, and children here in South Florida and across the country, will now have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of animals with compassion. They will learn about respect for animals and all living creatures and even get to advocate for local animals in need in their hometown communities."
Students at clubs that will be established in schools across the country will learn from an innovative humane education curriculum developed by American Humane Association. The curriculum includes downloadable lesson plans designed to assist educators in incorporating current humane education topics into club meetings. These lesson plans are aligned with national education standards and also address the pillars of character, while considering the needs of a wide range of student abilities and learning styles.
Clubs will also be provided with pledge cards, whereby students can make a pledge to be humane. Field trips to local shelters and visits with therapy dogs will be encouraged. And clubs will be encouraged to advocate for a dog or cat from a local shelter, championing a second chance for the homeless pet.
"The LIFE Humane Heroes Club gives children a voice in the compassion movement, while embracing the power of the human-animal bond," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "We are deeply grateful to Lois Pope and the LIFE Foundation for once again affirming their unwavering commitment to cementing and furthering this bond through the establishment of this club."
For more information on American Humane Association and the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, visit www.americanhumane.org or call 1-800-227-4645.