A unique partnership between the Georgian Triangle Humane Society (GTHS) and Recreational Respite! This program was part of a three-year grow grant funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Our role was to help develop the tools for assessment, track the progress and design a final report to submit for further grant opportunities to continue to do more of this kind of work with youth and animals, on behalf of the Ontario SPCA. The initiative was implemented by the Georgian Triangle Humane Society (GTHS) in partnership with the Ontario SPCA. Our team was responsible for examining the impact of humane education workshops and classes on the social and emotional skill development of youth in a variety of settings.
Two programs in particular have been highlighted below:
1) Grade seven to twelve take part in different activities and lessons which examine topics related to animals and animal welfare. Through the course of the program, students are encouraged to explore topics such as empathy, communication, emotional awareness and regulation, as well as pro-social skills. At the end of the program both teachers and students are asked to share about their experience.
2) Junior Volunteers and Pet Sitters Course allows for youth from the community whose schools are not partnered with GTHS to participate in after-school and summer humane education based-programming. The course includes a more hands-on approach, as participants visit the shelter weekly to take part in activities and care for the animals. This program has the highest success rate in participant goal setting, and personal goal achievement. At the end of each weekly session, 100% of participants indicate they made a friend and felt confident in themselves.