For many children, the family pet is their best friend. The Adopt-a-Classroom program teaches kids to be a friend in return.
Through the program, parents and community members provide elementary-school classes with subscriptions to KIND News¿, an award-winning classroom newspaper that emphasizes concepts like compassion, respect, and responsibility. The monthly newspaper is published by the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), The HSUS's youth education affiliate, and is currently read by more than a million children nationwide.
KIND News (the acronym stands for Kids In Nature's Defense) includes articles, short fiction, activities, and projects that teach children simple, everyday ways to show kindness to people, animals, and the environment. Teachers use the paper to supplement their science, reading, writing, and character education curricula.
Topics covered in KIND News range from pet care to living with wildlife to getting along with peers. In the September 2005 issue of KIND News, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman discussed the importance of reducing pet overpopulation and caring for pets. Dr. Kind explained why donations to animal shelters are so vital. Other features covered problems with keeping wild animals as pets and what students and teachers should consider before getting a classroom pet.
Classroom teachers using KIND News have noted positive changes in their students. In 2005, 97% of teachers surveyed reported that KIND News had increased their students' knowledge of humane issues, such as the role of animal shelters, responsible pet care, and the importance of protecting endangered species. They also cited improvements in their students' behavior toward one another.
"Most children are naturally interested in animals," says Bill DeRosa, NAHEE's former executive director. "Teaching children to care for and respect pets and wildlife can be a highly effective springboard for introducing basic character concepts that extend to others."
The cost of participating in the Adopt-a-Classroom program is $30 for each classroom adopted and includes 30 copies of one of three editions (grades K-2, 3-4, or 5-6) with a teacher's guide every month of the school year, September through May. Also included is KIND Teacher, an annual resource book of reproducible worksheets, calendar pages, a class poster, and KIND I.D. cards for students. International subscriptions are available for $50. Single-copy home subscriptions are also available; contact NAHEE for more information.
You can sponsor a classroom for the teacher or child of your choice or adopt a classroom on our waiting list. If you prefer, you can place your order by calling 860-434-8666. For KIND News subscriptions to begin at the start of the upcoming school year, orders must be received by June 15, however KIND News can be purchased anytime throughout the year. Check out the subscription schedule for more information.
In addition to KIND News, NAHEE offers a range of humane education resources for parents, teachers, and students, including coloring books, videos, CDs, games, and websites.