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JoAnna Lou
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Educating the Future
NJVMA creates a humane education curriculum for N.J. classrooms

When it comes to problems like overcrowded shelters and the proliferation of puppy mills, I believe everything comes down to education. So I was excited to hear that the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA) is offering grants to provide teachers with structured lessons on pet care and animal welfare.

Many animal shelters and therapy groups have humane education programs, but this is the first time I’ve seen such an extensive program integrated into schools. The NJVMA program is a middle level language arts study that incorporates New Jersey Department of Education core curriculum standards in language arts literacy, science, and social studies. The NJVMA will supplement the program with training, classroom speakers, and resources on animal health and welfare.

New Jersey teachers can apply for the 15-lesson curriculum called, Taking Care of Your Community by Taking Care of Your Pets, on the NJVMA website. I believe that this program will help kids understand the importance of this subject and will hopefully inspire these future leaders to explore animal-related careers.Today’s children will dictate how dogs are treated in the future and I’m glad the NJVMA is investing in their education.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo: alancleaver_2000, Flickr

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