Walking in to a primary school classroom again, it's the smell that brings you back. The scent of crayons, paper, ink, glue… all give your memory a giant jolt. You start to remember teachers, and how they treated you; friends, and your antics together; and most importantly you remember the giant lessons you learned.
I don't know if it's the things you already were passionate about and then a lesson in school really brought it home…or if the lesson came first and the passion grew from there? Either way something, sometimes, once in a while sticks.
I never learned about co-existence with local wildlife in school. It took me years to learn anything about wildlife in the wild. I learned about giraffes, and elephants and other "zoo" animals. I say zoo because these animals were not in the wild around me, they were at the zoo. Nothing on the reality of those creatures in the wild was taught, let alone our local wild animals. I think I wouldn't have floundered so long in finding my passion, if someone taught me about local wildlife and how to treat them.
Seeing quizzical looks from kids, from kindergarten to 8th grade, when we tell them that yes, there are wild animals right in the city, that we need to learn to live together with, without feeding them or making them pets, is quite special. The rural kids seem to know a little more, and having a "debate" with an 8 year old on whether you should feed deer apples, is actually really funny. But you know he's going to remember what you said, and question himself if he does have that situation come up again. The passion that one boy isn't just with one boy, it can't be. He represents ideas and thoughts he's been exposed to, so you know the other children have too.
It's a thrill really, to be a part of humane education. We're shaping futures! They go home and teach their parents! They're little sponges. Sponges that need all the right information given to them now to make the right choices growing up, to spread the word, and to most importantly, know that being kind to our fellow non-human animals is vital in this world.
Please help us fund our Humane Education campaign through our Indiegogo fundraiser by clicking here. Every dollar counts – and every dollar helps develop one more compassionate child for our future.