Above & Beyond

Animals and kids with disabilities go together like PB&J!

We love seeing the faces of kids light up when they’re with animals and it’s no different for kids with special needs. All of our Humane Education Lessons are available for any classroom or they can be given at our Novato campus.

The lessons are designed for smaller class sizes and are taught by specially-trained staff and volunteers.

Our animal-assisted education teams visit classes in Marin schools and, under the teacher’s direction, enable the students to interact with fun, gentle, specially-trained animals. All of our volunteers who visit special day classes have experience working with students with disabilities.

Here’s a sampling of some of the lessons we provide and we’re happy to cater a special lesson just for you and your students!

  • Meet & Greets – Students get the opportunity to practice social skills and learn the right way to meet a dog. This is a great way to introduce the volunteer and dog to the children. Many teachers like to start each week with this lesson or a variation of it.
  • Dog Math – Students get an opportunity to measure different parts of two very different dogs, and then compare the numbers. After the comparison, they can complete different math equations.
  • Pet First Aid – Students can listen to a dog’s heart with a stethoscope, practice bandaging a dog’s leg, and learn basic pet care.
  • Dog Safety in the Car – Students will learn about the safest way to travel with a dog, comparing their needs to the student’s needs for safety.
  • Animal Photography – Students will get the chance to photograph a variety of dogs. We’ll supply the digital cameras and post the photos online so the students and their families can view them. Many times, this leads to creating photo scrapbooks in class! We can also supply crafts and copies of the photos.
  • Pet Care Pluses & Minuses – Students will have an opportunity to answer “+” or “–” to pet care statements. Each one will have their own whiteboard paddle to show their answers!
  • Scenting Demonstrations – Students will get to watch as a dog uses its super sniffer to find a scent hidden in their classroom; it’s a great lesson related to the five senses.
  • Agility Demonstration – Students can watch the sport of agility and then work with dogs themselves as they leap over small jumps and go through tunnels. It’s a great lesson to encourage being active and training dogs!

For more information about any of our classes, contact the Education department.