Starting an Education Programme (Animal Welfare) - Hollie Sevenoaks & Peter Kiraly

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Hollie Sevenoaks of Dogs Trust and Peter Kiraly of the Hungarian Rex Foundation Dog Shelter on setting up a responsible animal ownership education programme. …

Hollie Sevenoaks of Dogs Trust and Peter Kiraly of the Hungarian Rex Foundation Dog Shelter on setting up a responsible animal ownership education programme.

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  • Use key letters to spell something out at the end. Brief intro into me and UK education programme
  • We have 2 strands to our education programme, education workshops and education resources, we bring these together by using the resources as a pre or post workshop activity.
  • Important to be clear on what the aims are of your education programme – what will your call to action be? Your aims should be achieveable
  • What do you want to say? Key messages should communicate your aims and objectives to your audience. These are the key points you want children to know, learn more about and investigate. This should then lead to change in attitudes, behaviour and improved knowledge in the future. Are you using children to convey the messages at home? Are you using the powerful marketing term ‘pester power’ as a way of reaching parents? What are you asking children to do? Give them responsibility that is practical and realistic, designing a poster, peer educating for example. Always remember to keep them safe. Don’t inundate them with loads of information. If your messages are dog care – then ask children to give their dog a fresh bowl of water every day or even a stroke – something that they can do safely and on their own
  • You have chosen your message, now you need to know who to get it to. Be clear on your target audience and what their capabilities are. 7 years olds are not responsible for taking pets to the vet so don’t ask them to. We talk to the 7-11 age group as this is the age where children are starting to form opinions, they can fulfil basic tasks and they share with their peers. We will talk more about different groups you may want to talk to later in the presentation.
  • You’ve got your key messages, your target audience and now you need to shape that into resources. By having both resources and workshops you are offering leave behind material to carry on the learning. The children have something to show their parents and a record of what they have done. By having resources you can tap into different learning, such as english, art, Resources can range form anything from booklets for the school, to photos, toys that we you can leave behind and get kids to write a diary on the care etc
  • If your doing workshops in the classroom – you can reiterate the key message you are trying to get across. By them meeting you in person and sharing your passion and enthusiasm you are getting them on board to your cause. You can also find out more from the community how they feel about animals what they believe the problem might be. By engaging them in a conversation about how they think they can help means you are empowering them to make a difference and challenging (constructively) any misconceptions. Younger kids need quick short activities, older pupils will get benefit from more detailed activities like debates and discussions.
  • Do your research – who else is going into schools? Environmental charities, ECO schools, other charities or welfare groups, aid groups? When looking at maltese schools we saw that only 2 other organisations went into schools, whereas in the UK we are battling with hundreds of organisations and companies all wanting children’s attention. Speak to other charities and organisations and find out how they do it – what could make you different or stand out more? Is there a reward programme for schools – something that they receive for taking part? What is in it for schools?
  • How did we get the appointment? We just asked for it. Also their involvement – which other than approval, they could choose, how much they would like to be involved in It could work for you if the Ed department wants to be involved. This will provide credibility and perhaps a list of contacts and ensure that schools consider your programme more favourably. Also opens the door to schools. Ask the ed department if they want to add your logo. Stay away from funding aspects. If you suggest that they need to pay for anything your ideas may get thrown out before you even start! You want to make it as easy as you can for everyone. What is the system in schools? Who do you need to approach? Minister of education?
  • Once you have met with the right people – put it all down in a proposal and make it as clear as possible. Keep to bear facts about the ideas and the programme but make it clear you want to work in conjunction with them and the teachers – you are not trying to make their job harder
  • Anywhere where children congregate is a potential audience. Take advantage of the fact that someone has got the children in a room and given you an audience. Are there key areas you want to target first? These are all places that we go to and talk to.
  • Sample of a direct mail and a advertorial in an education mag.
  • Another thing that worked well for us is a letter we sent directly to the schools, sometimes highlighting a particular animal welfare related incident that happened in the community. By offering our positive workshops we leave the children with upbeat messages
  • Create relationships… Promote your education programme Chat to pupils, teachers and schools Link to other organisations Raise awareness of your work Our social networking includes. . . - Facebook – Dogs Trust has 48,000 fans! - Twitter – we have over 7,000 followers! - Bebo - You Tube channel
  • Show you have a commitment towards children’s education and that you want to continue the learning
  • You can fufill different needs but on the whole it helps to raise the status of dogs Man’s best friend, useful in so many ways
  • Special needs groups.
  • We have lots of spare resources based on our TNR project in Romania – please feel free to take a copy


  • 1.
    • Starting an
    • Education Programme
  • 2. Overview
    • How to implement an education programme and develop links with schools. . .
  • 3. Dogs Trust Education Programme
    • We spoke to 67,230 children in 2008!
    • 9 Education Officers all over the UK
    • 1 Education Officer in Dublin
    • 1 Education Officer in Malta
    • Free resources to download
    • Great communities links and support
  • 4.  
  • 5. Why Is Education Important?
    • Long-term solution
    • Young people can/want to make a difference to the welfare of dogs now and in the future
    • Raise awareness
    • Tackle local problems
  • 6. What Do You Want To Achieve?
    • Inform and empower next generation
    • Tackle everyday issues and problems – children pass on the information
    • Benefit your organisation/Ambassadors
    • Achieve positive changes in animal welfare
  • 7. Key Messages
    • What do you want to say?
    • Who do you want to say it to?
    • What do you want them to do?
    • What problems do you face in your community?
    • i.e. rabies, lack of neutering, no basic vet care, street dogs
  • 8. Target Audience
    • Which age group will you target?
      • All Primary school age children (5-11 years)?
      • Or will it be more specific?
      • i.e. 9-10 years, young offenders, secondary school children, children with Special Educational Needs etc
  • 9. Create Resources
    • Workshop and teacher resources to reinforce key messages
    • Adds fun and excitement, whilst helping to focus children’s attention
    • Offer additional learning opportunities
    • Resources can include. . .
    • Visual aids – photos, props, puppet, story
    • Activities – games, colouring, quiz
    • DVDs, internet etc
    • Prizes for children – sticker, pencil, photo
  • 10. Activities for Workshops
    • Reiterate key messages
    • Children develop opinions and gain knowledge/understanding of topics
    • Younger pupils – ‘quick fire’ activities i.e. drawing, drama, songs etc
    • Older pupils – more mature activities i.e. group working, debates, discussions, matching, art and design etc
  • 11. What Next?
    • You have created your ideas and activities - you know exactly what to say and to whom. But what happens now?
    • How do you begin to deliver the workshops?
    • How can you start working with children and schools?
  • 12. Research
    • Who else is going into school?
    • What do they offer schools?
    • Benefits for them, schools, children and teachers?
    • How are they making it stand out? i.e. Flags, Plaques etc.
    • Talk to teachers – who visits? What works?
  • 13. The People In The know. . .
    • Research school system and curriculum
    • Who are your key contacts to approach?
    • Organise consultation with a number of schools to get their opinion
    • Example
    • When setting up in Malta, we arranged a meeting with the Director of the ‘Curriculum Management and eLearning Department’ (Ministry of Education), to give a presentation on our proposed programme. We also went to visit a number to school to share and
    • discuss our plans.
  • 14. Outlining Your Aims
    • Pitch your education programme and aims
    • Happy, positive, changing attitudes in an upbeat way
    • No preaching and no horror stories
    • DVD
  • 15. Presenting your programme…
    • Brief background information
    • Issues, aims and objectives
    • Your proposal – what makes your education programme special?
    • Is it going to cost them anything?
    • What do councils, schools and teachers have to do?
  • 16. …cont
    • What will happen in the workshops exactly? Examples of materials/activities to be used
    • Dog or no dog?
    • Police background checks
    • How will you promote it?
    • Testimonials
  • 17. What should I do while I am waiting for the go-ahead?
  • 18. Investigate, Research And Plan!
    • Where do I find the children? Specific local areas to target?
    • Schools/ Youth groups/ After school clubs
    • Libraries
    • Community Centres
    • Clubs i.e. sports clubs, football teams, environmental activity groups
  • 19. Talk To Teachers
    • Find out what they think of your proposed materials
    • Spend some time with them and observe what goes on in their schools
    • Even ask if they can provide a a class of children to try your workshops out on!
  • 20. “ Tips From A Teacher” What are they looking for?
    • Fun and , friendly
    • Child friendly talk – easy to understand
    • A visual prompt or “gimmick”
    • Rewards for the children
    • Short, sharp, quick activities
    • Be prepared
    • Be reliable
    • Be organised – ensure you have full contact details and that they have yours
    • Be ready for the unexpected!
  • 21. Why Do Schools Like Visitors?
    • Child friendly zone
    • Rising costs of transport
    • Health and Safety issues
    • Build relationships with the wider community
    • Opportunities for whole school involvement through assemblies
    • Engage the children through active learning
    • Help to spread the word using ‘pupil power’
  • 22.
    • You have the ‘buy-in’…so now spread the word there’s a new education programme in town!
  • 23. Getting Into Schools
    • Contact schools to let them know about your education programme
    • Posters, emails, flyers, postcards, local press, letters, phone calls etc
  • 24. Promotion Ideas
    • Outline what you offer and any costs
    • Emphasise benefits for schools, teachers and pupils
    • Tell them how to book
    • Sell yourself and your workshops!
  • 25. Social Networking
  • 26. Repeat Visits To Schools
    • Word of mouth promotion
    • Build on retained knowledge
    • Explore other dog welfare issues
    • Increase and improve pupil’s knowledge/ understanding after each visit
    • Impact on wider community
  • 27. Talk to different Groups…
    • Raise the status of dogs in your society
    • How do other charities use dogs?
    • e.g. Guide Dogs for the Blind,
    • Pets As Therapy, Hearing Dogs
    • Dogs for the Disabled,
    • READ
    • (Reading Education Assistance Dogs)
  • 28.  
  • 29.
    • Special Educational Needs Schools
    • Summer schools
    • Private schools
    • Nurseries and playgroups
    • Young offenders
    • Foster children
    • Animal welfare students
    • Home-educated children
    …Different Groups
  • 30. Extra-curricular Work
    • Attending local events
    • Community days
    • Gala days
    • Charity evenings
    • Fundraising
    • Press and media coverage
    • Open days at animal welfare centres
    • Working with other organisations
  • 31. Don’t forget…feedback!
    • Feedback form for school - hearing what schools, teachers, pupils and parents think about the programme is vital!
    • Praise and constructive criticism always improve workshops and resources
    • Collate feedback
    • Strive to improve and maintain standards
  • 32. ‘Train The Trainer’
    • Establish yourself as the expert!
    • Train others - teachers, education professionals, Council staff, youth workers, other animal welfare organisations etc
    • Help to spread your education key messages to a much larger audience than you can reach alone.
  • 33. Funds
    • Governmental grants, individuals, or try local businesses to help with printing costs or just donate prizes for children
    • Even small donations can help to boost your work!
    • Are you planning to encourage children and schools to fundraise?
    • Costs of workshops
  • 34. Summary
    • The most important ingredient is to be enthusiastic and fun!
    • Be clear on your messages and objectives
    • Always approach the council first, apart from being your passport in, it is courteous
  • 35. Remember…
    • W ork it out
    • O rganise
    • O ffer workshops
    • F lourish!
  • 36. Education Training Workshop
    • If you haven’t created your resources yet, you should attend our excellent. . .
    • Overseas Education Workshop Training Course
    • (see David Newall for more information)
  • 37.
    • Activities to improve English
    • Information about dogs
    • Neutering
    • Re-homing dogs
    • Are you dog friendly?
    Save our Street Dogs Free – get your copy today . . . international/education SOS Dogs Education Booklet
  • 38. Any Questions ?
  • 39. Thank you for listening!
    • Thank you very much for listening.
    • Good luck!
    • Contact the Education Team at Dogs Trust