While their parents probably grew up with Body Break, today’s kids will be getting Pet Break, thanks to the local humane society.
Molly Freedman, education coordinator at Georgian Triangle Humane Society, is offering to takeover for any teacher for 15-30 minutes to talk to their class about taking care of pets, empathizing with animals, and the work going on at the GHTS animal centre.
“My goal, and the goal of the animal centre is to create a new generation of compassionate and empathetic youth,” said Freedman. “I’m hoping that through this program high school students can go on to do our Junior Animal Wellness certification and Responsible Pet Ownership class … they might visit and adopt … or they might just think more mindfully about how they interact with each other and their pets.”
Any teacher from anywhere in Ontario can reach out to Freedman to invite her into any class from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The Pet Break segment includes a live virtual tour of the GTHS animal centre and one of a list of activities chosen by the teacher and ending with a question and answer session.
“All the activities are animal care or emotional intelligence related, or a bit of both,” said Freedman. “One that seems most popular is watching me do an exam on a cat or a dog and explaining what I’m doing as I’m looking at each body part.”
Freedman has worked for 3.5 years in the animal care side of GTHS operations and has recently moved into her role as education coordinator.
The GTHS has set a goal of getting into 40 different classrooms with a Pet Break segment. This week, Freedman led her first three classes through Pet Break.
She’s aiming to use her experience to teach people about animals in a different capacity and increase the student’s ability to form emotional attachments with animals in the hopes that will also transfer into their relationships with people.
“I think that all humans have a fascination with all living beings,” said Freedman. “People have that natural fascination and desire to learn, we just need to tap into it a little bit.”
Pet Break is free and available as a virtual field trip for any class. Pet Break segments can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collingwood Today article written by Erika Engel.