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Humane Education

“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

The VBSPCA Humane Education Program cultivates kindness and empathy in children by teaching them to understand and respect the feelings of others. Our programs are built on a philosophy of teaching that integrates respect, empathy, and compassion into classroom lessons, stories, and everyday life. The Virginia Beach SPCA educates nearly thousands of children every year through various education programs, including school programming, camps & workshops, our children’s newsletter, and various shelter and virtual activities. By instilling a sense of responsibility into these children, the younger generation is empowered to make more compassionate choices, setting the foundation for today’s children to grow into a kinder, more compassionate tomorrow.

Our current educational offerings are as follows:

  • Pawsitive Press
    This children’s newsletter offers animal stories, educational lessons, and activities for young animal lovers. This publication is printed seasonally and can be mailed to subscribing households or picked up in the shelter. Learn more here.
  • A Tale for Two
    A Tale for Two is an extension of our Listening Ears Program which pairs a young reader with an animal to make the experience of reading more fun. By bringing the readers to our shelter,  adoptable cats and dogs get to benefit from the positive presence of a child, boosting confidence in both the pet and the person. Learn more here. 
  • Educational Visits
    The VBSPCA offers visits to local youth groups where a VBSPCA representative and an adoptable animal will come to your location to read a book or present a lesson focused on animals and/or sheltering. Learn more here. 
  • Virtual Activities
    The VBSPCA offers a new virtual educational activity or challenge each month. From writing competitions to art challenges to making your own kennel cards, we provide new ways to learn about the VBSPCA while also having a little bit of fun in this new virtual landscape. Learn about our current activity here.
  • Field Trips – Postponed until Spring 2021
    The VBSPCA is happy to offer visiting groups a tour of the shelter. Our tours highlight the cattery, kennel, and small animal room, offering a behind the scenes look at many components of our organization. Tours must be scheduled in advance.
  • School Programming – Postponed until Spring 2021
    The VBSPCA brings two unique programs to local schools: Compassion Classroom and Listening Ears.  Compassion Classroom is a series of SOL-aligned, character education lessons in compassion, respect, and responsibility. Listening Ears is a program partnering reluctant readers with an animal companion to build confidence and skills.
  • Camps  Postponed until Spring 2021
    The VBSPCA offers week long spring break and summer camps for children ages 6-12. Camps provide a behind the scenes look at an animal shelter as well as some on site excursions. Campers can look forward to guest visitors, animal-inspired arts and crafts, critter time, and more.
  • Workshops – Postponed until Spring 2021
    We offer a variety of single-day workshops for youth, including our popular Vet-for-a-Day workshop and our brand new Kitten-Around workshop. Each session includes themed activities to engage your youth while offering education, entertainment, and enrichment. Workshops occur year-round on select dates.

For general humane education information, please email humaneeducation@vbspca.com.