Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Animal Starz of Humane Society Silicon Valley

By Natasha Dolginsky, HSSV Volunteer

Over the weekend when I was visiting Humane Society Silicon Valley (drooling over all the adorable  bunnies, cats, and dogs!), I learned about the Animal Starz program. I spent a few minutes chatting with Jaime Allen, HSSV’s director of education programs, who told me about this two-session course where kids, ages 10-13, learn more about the animals and get an opportunity to help as well! As part of the curriculum, students get up close and personal with special animals, make cat toys and blankets for the HSSV residents, and even create a piece of art to be displayed in HSSV’s Animal Community Center.

Schools are putting a much bigger focus on giving back and, starting at a pretty young age, kids are getting involved in their communities as part of school projects. In fact, the Animal Starz program was started in part to meet the increased demand from parents and students asking about volunteer opportunities for kids!

As a volunteer myself I’m very happy to see a bigger focus on community service in elementary and middle schools! I remember when I was younger, options for volunteer projects were pretty slim and volunteering wasn’t something I got involved in until high school.

It’s so nice to see programs such as Animal Starz in my own community. They teach kids about the importance of giving back, give them a fun way to complete a school project and help the animals at the same time. And hopefully more young volunteers now means that we’ll be seeing more volunteers as kids get older!

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