The Student Advocates Club, formerly known as the Senior Roots and Shoots Club, aims to promote animal advocacy from our participants.

I am currently participating in a professional development course to learn more about Solutionary Programs. I thought the content I am learning in this course, which is generally used in middle and high school classrooms, would greatly benefit our students at Marin Humane. I will give updates on how this course is progressing. This group knows they are my trial group to see if this curriculum would enhance Marin Humane’s education department.

For our first meeting, we were visited by Lisa Bloch, a Marin Humane staff member and member of the Advocacy Committee for the shelter. Lisa talked with us about what the Advocacy Committee does, including their work on Prop 12 this past fall! The students had great questions and comments, especially in our discussion of Six Flags and other amusement parks that feature animal shows.

This discussion got us thinking about what kind of community service project we may wish to engage in this semester. The group will decide on a project at the next meeting.

After our meeting with Lisa, we watched a few short video clips to get us thinking about animals, the environment, and compassion. You can view these videos too:

Meat Eaters Visit Farmed Animals for the First Time

Nature Makes You Happy

After viewing and discussing the videos, I had the students answer this question in journals: Consider who and what is currently in your circle of compassion — what people, nonhuman animals, and aspects of the natural world attract your compassion and care? Why?

We ended with a walk around the shelter to see who was available for adoption.

Students also have an assignment for the next meeting: Find a news article about an animal welfare or advocacy issue and bring it in with a one page summary including why they chose the article and what we can do to help the cause. Students signed up to present at each meeting. I’m looking forward to getting them involved in animal advocacy and becoming aware of animals in the news.