2014/2015 Annual Report
Heartland’s Humane Education Program helps connect people and animals in Benton County on a daily basis. By teaching children responsible pet ownership and animal safety, and how to recognize the beneficial role animals play in people’s lives, we hope to instill a sense of responsibility, compassion, commitment and respect: values that will serve children throughout their lives.
Again this past year, Heartland’s Humane Education Coordinator was busy visiting various local classrooms and youth programs. The table below shows the number of youth served through the different educational programs offered at Heartland.
|Activity||2014-2015 Fiscal Year||2013-2014 Fiscal Year|
|# of Youth Served||2167||1723|
|# of Presentation Visits||32||115|
|# of Outreach Events & Shelter Tours||18||13|
|Kindness Kids’ Club Sessions||63||48|
|Camp Catnip Sessions||10||9|
Although we did see a lower number of scheduled visits this year – quite a busy year for teachers, we still were able to reach more youth than the previous year. Of the visits that were scheduled, many of them were with teachers and organizations we have already established wonderful relationships with.
One not so anticipated jump for Heartland’s Humane Education Program was in our Youth Volunteer Program: Kindness Kids’ Club.
Kindness Kids’ Club is an after-school youth volunteer program for children ages 8 to 15 years. Youth volunteers, like adult volunteers, help with afternoon day to day needs at the shelter. This past year, Heartland received so many requests from youth eager to participate, we added two sessions a week to offer more opportunities for kids to get involved. Currently, the program has close to 75 active volunteers and averages 28 youth per week.
One of our leading youth volunteers is Shoshana Groom. She is a 13 year old 8th grader at Linus Pauling Middle School. Shoshana first came to Heartland as a participant in our Camp Catnip Program. After the school year started, she signed herself up for Kindness Kids’ Club and become one of our regular volunteers – 4 ½ years of service with over 260 volunteer hours. Today, she is now a Youth Leader in our program; helping train new participants and assists staff in outreach events and our Camp Catnip Program. When she isn’t able to volunteer, she is always trying to find new ways to continue being involved – fundraising and assisting neighbors with their foster animals.
After observing Shoshana’s hard work, our Humane Education Coordinator became inspired to develop a new program for youth to stay involved with Heartland outside the shelter. The Heartland Hero Program allows youth to explore their creative side, practice their skills, and come up with ways to help make a difference in their community. We hope through this new program, youth can still stay engaged even during their busy schedules.
Camp Catnip, Heartland’s spring and summer break youth day camp continues to be our other strong youth program. Generally, participants who come to our camps, later become involved with our Kindness Kids’ Club program. This last spring break, we made a few changes to the schedule by adding daily registration. This allowed more flexibility to parents and we were able to serve up to 20 participants versus 10 participants in one week.