New book aims to teach kids about the importance of being kind to animals

by Gemma Handy

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The importance of empathy and kindness towards animals is at the heart of a new book distributed to thousands of local school children.

The coloring book produced by the Humane Society aims to teach young people everything from proper pet care to understanding animal behavior.

The company hopes it will reap dividends in children’s social skills and their future prospects, said chairman Karen Corbin.

“It will be fun for the child, but we also hope that parents and teachers will use the book as an educational tool,” she explained.

“It’s so important that children learn to care for animals; there is a strong link between cruelty to animals and human violence, such as domestic violence, and we hope to reach children from an early age.

Corbin said the book also highlights how taking care of a pet can boost the self-esteem of young people.

“They come home from school, they maybe had a bad day, they sit down with Frisky and Frisky listens, they stroke Frisky and Frisky loves them no matter what,” she added.

Five thousand copies of the book are now distributed to more than 80 local schools. The text was written by Corbin and the dynamic drawings were created with the help of Humane Society volunteer Sam Plowman.

Cartoon pictures show children how to treat animals kindly, how to wash and groom them, and make sure they always have enough food and water.

Plowman, from Yorkshire in the UK, has been in Antigua since March through the country’s Digital Nomad Program. She has helped the Bethesda-based Humane Society which, in addition to working to improve animal welfare, runs the famous Donkey Sanctuary as well as a dog and cat shelter.

Plowman told Observer that she was delighted to help with the post.

“I am an absolute animal lover; I work with the cats, the dogs, I clean them, I just started training with the dogs and I help take care of the donkeys, ”she told Observer.

Plowman added that the animals depicted in the book include several of the sanctuary’s current four-legged residents.

Yesterday morning, Jennings Elementary School became the first school to receive copies of the book.

“Children have missed a lot of contact time due to the pandemic and therefore some necessary skills have been underdeveloped,” said Deputy Director Mariella Miller.

“The book helps them see that these skills are important, so while coloring they develop the attributes necessary to interact with their peers, such as empathy, concern, caring, generosity and love. . “

Ten-year-old student Jahreal Lehkem was one of the first recipients.

“What I love about the book are all the animals in it, which are great fun to play with,” he told Observer.

“At home, I have a cow, a donkey and a rabbit. The rabbit’s name is Rex and my cow’s name is Betty.

“If you take care of animals, they might come back to help you if you are in danger,” he added.

The book was created under the Humane Society Landmark 30e birthday celebrations.

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