Classroom Programs

Humane Education, or using animals as a vehicle to teach compassion and empathy, is the core of our lessons and programming. AWS’ Youth Program Coordinator offers unique and interactive animal-based curriculums to teachers, homeschool groups, and educational organizations.

Home | Youth Programs | Classroom Programs

One-Time Lessons & Presentations

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

Multi-Session Lessons & 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. Right now we are offering a semester-long program called Muttigrees.

What is Muttigrees?

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 (individual curriculums target different grade levels). Each lesson includes a visit with a pet and presents lessons to build empathy, compassion, and community amongst students. We will present the semester-long classroom program in five units:

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

Why have Muttigrees in your classroom or school?

Muttigrees supports schools’ social-emotional learning requirements and helps faculty and administration achieve their SEL goals. In fact, Muttigrees is the only classroom-based program of its kind in the state that uses companion animals as a vessel to teach social-emotion learning!

Using humane education to teach SEL is a natural fit, as humane education in its essence seeks to build empathy and compassion to animals and the world around us. Additionally, many children can relate easily to animals, particularly companion pets like cats and dogs. The use of animals in SEL can achieve the learning techniques more quickly and more successfully, as children can see how animals mirror their own emotions and work together to build relationships not only with each other, but with animals as well.

Students have expressed how much they’ve enjoyed their furry friends and how it has improved their social emotional wellbeing. Does this program hold value? Absolutely! Enriching our children’s lives with this type of social emotional program will not only teach them resistant qualities but create healthy habits and connections going forward.”

Close up of children's hands holding a mouse during a classroom program.


For more information on how we can bring these humane education programs to your classroom or school, please contact Youth Programs Coordinator via email or telephone at (207) 985-3244 ext. 109.

Follow Us!


ICYMI: Along with their foster mom, guinea pigs Phoebe, Peppa and Miss Piggy were guests on Fetch Me a Home this morning. Head over to @newscentermaine to learn more about this fun and groovy trio!

To adopt ➡ Call AWS at (207) 985-3244 to schedule an appointment.