Teaching compassion to Vermont’s youngest citizens

Local News

North Country Animal League headed to Stowe to visit Mountain River School.  They brought along two teachers, with four legs.

Meet Louis and Rye.  They’re two former strays turned rescue dogs.  Now, they have a new title.  Educators. 

“We work with both adults and children all over the community,”  “We’ve formally introduced a humane education program in 2018,” says Lusana Masrur, one of about 12 employees at NCAL.

The shelter is small, but it’s expanding, and its message speaks volumes.  Treat every living being the way you want to be treated.

“I help with my cat and dog and I walk them everyday and I feed them,” says 6-year-old Natalie.  “If one thing starts to go extinct, that means the whole world is going to go extinct.”

For kids like Natalie, Lusana says the best way to teach them is by letting them have fun at the same time.  Her favorite way to do that is through games, particularly one called The Web of Life.

“It’s a very good way for kids to associate how every single organism in an eco-system is related to one another,” says Lusana.  “One person names a living thing and then, the next person has to pick another animal or living being that’s somehow connected to what the first person chose.”

This, all while each person is connected by a piece of ribbon.  It illustrates what words can’t describe.

“Kids are incredibly smart and it’s so important for them to be able to visualize and see that connection,” Lusana said.  “Connection means having compassion for one another, which is our ultimate goal for these programs.”

Lusana says NCAL did 13 school visits across the state last year, reaching slightly more than 800 children.

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