This summer, PAWS launched a new humane education program— summer workshops within local, established summer camps. By partnering with other non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Friends of the Children, and the YMCA, PAWS was able to reach more than 400 children.
Summer workshops were designed to focus on three themes: responsible guardianship for pets, co-existing peacefully with wildlife, and becoming an animal ambassador. But instead of teaching children these values through classroom presentations, PAWS Humane Education Coordinator Tiffany Ong engaged campers with hands-on games and physical activities. Some highlights included the "Shrinking Habitats" tag-game, making Raccoon masks, agility relay races, learning how to safely greet a dog, and of course, individual time and photos with Ambassador Abby (Tiffany's companion and animal assisted therapy dog).
By engaging the children through multiple senses, summer campers were able to realize the importance of the work PAWS does, as well as empathize with the animals in our care. The most inspiring part of camp was once the children understood why animals behave and feel the way they do, the campers became motivated to brainstorm new ways to help them.
Not only was this new workshop a hit, but it also allowed PAWS to expand our curriculum and reach new communities. Most of the children had little, if any, experience with animals. But now each child will have had a positive experience with animals, as well as one memorable summer.