Lessons and Presentations

Humane Education, using animals to teach compassionate and empathy, is an important part of any child’s learning experience. AWS’ Youth Program Coordinator offers a unique and interactive animal-based curriculum to teachers, homeschool groups and educational organizations.

Lessons and Presentations

One-time lessons and presentations can be presented virtually, or in person to a small cohort, a classroom or even a large school-wide assembly. Each lesson or presentation is customized to fit into the classroom or cohort’s curriculum or school’s learning model. Using companion animals as a catalyst for understanding and education, lessons and presentations target three important educational components: literacy, social-emotional learning and animal advocacy.

School Programs

Humane education school programs are multi-week, semester-long, or even year-long programs depending on the individual curriculum and the school’s learning goals.

Animals Unite Us

This program seeks to bridge the cultural gap around having pets for immigrant and English language learning students in area schools. The in-classroom program consists of regular hour-long workshops where students learn the basics of pet care for companion animals commonly kept as pets in American homes or found in US animal shelters.
Each Animals Unite Us workshop ends with a written reflection portion for students to consider “Woof is the same in all languages” and “Meow sounds the same everywhere.” Students have the opportunity to write about how the workshop has cultivated their cultural, emotional and physical understanding of the particular pet they have met and to pose questions for further contemplation.

Jumping for Joy

Originally conceived by the Marin County Humane Society, this program brings together high school students on the autism spectrum and dogs for in-classroom workshops on canine training. While navigating through an agility course, Jumping for Joy students interact socially, grow communication skills, and improve problem solving, all while building confidence and self-esteem.


Using a curriculum established by the Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Millan Foundation, Mutt-i-grees uses companion animals as a vessel to teach and social and emotional skills to students in all grade levels. Each lesson includes a visit with a pet and presents lessons to build empathy, compassion, and community amongst students. The semester-long program is presented in five units:

  • Achieving Awareness
  • Finding Feelings
  • Encouraging Empathy
  • Cultivating Cooperation
  • Dealing with Decisions



To schedule a lesson or presentation or learn more about how we can bring one of our humane education school programs to your learning space or classroom, please contact our Youth Program Coordinator Amanda Zimmerman at (207) 985-3244 ext. 109 or via email.