Growing Kinder

“I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I'll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else. Brian Sibley: Or brains even? Oh gosh, yes, brains is one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness - that simple word. To be kind - it covers everything, to my mind. If you're kind that's it.”

About Growing Kinder

Growing Kinder is a non-profit organization 501(c)3 dedicated to serving our community.

The EIN for this nonprofit is 45-3606229.

It offers a variety of programs, beginning with preschool, through high school (service learning, programs for at-risk youth and Boy Scout merit badge counseling) to adult education (pet first aid, new parents with dogs, and disaster preparedness). Programs for the whole family will be adding in the coming year (2017) to strengthen the animal-human bond, assist families with pet issues, and teach better communication and care skills.

Jen Walker founded Growing Kinder in 2011, based on her professional experience in animal welfare and humane education. She has previously run many of the programs offered by Growing Kinder while employed at animal shelters in Washington and Oregon. She has also taught summer-camp and after-school programs in environmental studies and animal welfare, and interned at a wildlife rehabilitation center. The thread that weaves through these activities is responsible stewardship for all, for animals (both domestic and wild, and other people), as well as for the world around us.

Growing Kinder is built upon partnerships with other local and national organizations, most especially with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, which provides logistical support for many of these programs. Other partners include Head Start, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Dogs&Storks™, Delta Society, Kids Scoop, and the Boy Scouts of America.

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  • Pet Start

    Pet Start was originally created and launched by the Humane Society for SW Washington in partnership with Clark County Head Start. This program was designed to reach the very young with a message of care and compassion for all living things and to teach basic tools for animal safety to these students. Each session has a group interaction, reminders about past sessions and the mission of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, reading time from an age appropriate and topic relevant book, and time for questions and answers. The second and third sessions bring animal ambassadors into the classroom for the students to meet. Session may be shorter or longer - from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on classroom needs and the students’ ability to focus.

  • Kids Speak for Pets

    "Kids Speak for Pets is a unique collaboration between an animal shelter, Boys and Girls Club, Kid Scoop News and community sponsors. The program conducts humane education-themed writing workshops at the Boys and Girls Club. By incorporating a publishing opportunity and a pet welfare curriculum into the writing workshop program, students see a purpose to their reading and writing activities and become motivated to master their skills to write a clear and compelling article. They are also given a meaningful way to serve and connect with their local community through opportunities to have their articles published in Kid Scoop News and on the website."

  • Service Learning Projects

    Growing Kinder introduced students to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter where they learned through service about the shelter, how S.C.C.A.S. interacts with our community, and more about the shelter's operations and mission. They explored to basic pet care, animal welfare, and positive training methods depending on the particular focus of their program. Service and Learning provided a structured program for youth and mentor teams to learn about animal welfare in their community and to help the pets in the care of the animal shelter.

  • "From the tiny minnow to the majestic grizzly, wildlife and humans are integrally connected. Project WILD links students and wildlife through its mission to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources. Through the use of balanced curriculum materials and professional training workshops, Project WILD accomplishes its goal of developing awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment. This results in the making of informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive action concerning wildlife and the environment."

  • Scouting offers Merit Badges in dozens of subjects, and Scouts must earn badges to advance in Scouting. The badges typically require a variety of specific tasks, accomplishments, and demonstrations of knowledge satisfactory to Merit Badge Counselors. Growing Kinder offers counseling for the Merit Badges in Dog Care, Pets, and Veterinary Medicine.

Find out more?

For further information about any of these programs, including scheduling requests...

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