TEACH A CHILD THE WAY TO GO A PATH OF GOOD MORALS,EMPATHY
Animals Trump signs a sweeping federal ban on animal crueltyPresident Trump signs the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act in the Oval Office on Monday November 25, 2019 at 5:33 p.m. PST President Trump on Monday signed into law a new federal ban on animal cruelty, called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act. The bipartisan bill, which passed the House and Senate earlier this year, will outlaw purposeful crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, impalement or other violence causing “serious bodily injury” to animals. Violations could result in a fine and up to seven years’ imprisonment. Advocates say the Pact Act, which was pushed through the Senate by lead sponsors Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), will fill crucial gaps in national law, which bans animal fighting as well as the making and sharing of videos that show the kind of abuse the Pact Act would criminalize. All states have provisions against animal cruelty, said Kitty Block,
“Our nation’s animals have played a vital role in the development, settlements, security and happiness of our country," Trump said before signing the bill Monday evening. "So true, we had a great dog named Conan here just a little while ago so it’s very fitting that [the bill signing] was on the same day ... Conan was something and created quite a stir.”
The bipartisan act, introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), builds on a 2010 law that targets videos depicting animal cruelty, spurred by disgust over a gruesome genre of “crush” videos often showing small creatures being stomped under a woman’s shoe.
Block says videos capturing such torture needed to be addressed at the federal level because content shared online transcends state boundaries. But no national law targeted the acts behind the recordings — despite previous congressional efforts with widespread support.
Scientists have come up with a better way New research suggests the counting in dog years is not as straightforward as it might seemResearchers say the seven-to-one rule falls short, and turn to Tom Hanks and a Labrador retriever to show us how to convert your dog’s age to human years
November 28, 2019 at 5:00 a.m. PST
My dog Winston, a 1-year-old pit bull mix, is a sleek, muscular beast at the peak of his physical abilities.
According to the well-known rule by which we convert one dog year into seven human years, Winston is about the same developmental age as my 6-year-old twins. But in contrast to Winston’s athleticism, the twins are clumsy, cuddly little goofballs with a lot of growing up to do.
Now, new research by a team of geneticists and biologists at the University of California, San Diego and elsewhere explains the discrepancy. The scientists say they’ve devised a far more accurate formula for the human-canine conversion — one that front-loads the aging process for dogs and accounts for such variables as breed size — by boring into the effects of aging on their respective DNAs.
By their calculation, Winston isn’t 7; he’s pushing 30.
People have been interested in converting dog years into human years since at least the 13th century. An inscription in London’s Westminster Abbey from the year 1268 uses a dog year calculation as a steppingstone in a prediction of the end of the world:
If the reader wisely considers all that is laid down, he will find here the end of the primum mobile; a hedge (lives for) three years, add dogs and horses and men, stags and ravens, eagles, enormous whales, the world: each one following triples the years of the one before.
Dogs live for nine years on average, or three times the life of a hedge, while the human life span works out to nine times the life of a dog, or 81 years. The calculation assigns our 4.5 billion-year-old planet a life span of 19,683 years, a discrepancy that gives some sense of the accuracy of the whole endeavor.
The next big innovation in dog math didn’t arrive until the mid-20th century, when the seven-to-one rule became widespread for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, but which probably had to do with the simple fact that human life expectancy at the time was about 70 years, while dogs lived to be about 10.
It was clear from the get-go that the formula is overly simplistic. Dogs mature faster than people: They can produce their first litter of puppies before they’re a year old, while the typical human 7-year-old is still years away from puberty.
There’s also the problem of radically different life spans: Small dogs like the Cairn Terrier can expect to live twice as long (14 years) as a large breed like the Great Dane (7 years).
Acknowledging these realities, the American Kennel Club offers a dog-year conversion table on its website that front-ends the aging process and accounts for dog size. By this calculation, Winston is approaching 15 in human years, which makes more intuitive sense. But can that conversion be improved?
The UCSD team thinks so. Their work zeroed in on a process called methylation, which reflects the chemical changes happening in a creature’s DNA as it ages.
The researchers collected DNA samples from 104 Labrador retrievers over a 16-year period. They compared changes in their DNA samples against DNA previously collected from 320 humans between the ages of 1 and 103.
They specifically looked for similarities in the methylation process between the two sets and found that the DNA profiles evolved in similar ways across the life span of both species. “If you look at the methylomes of 2-year-old Labs and you ask what are the closest human methylomes? The answer is that the best matches are in humans about 40 years old,” said UCSD’s Trey Ideker, the leader of the laboratory running the study. “That is just what the data show, no more, no less.”
Plot the two DNA profiles against each other and you get a curve showing the relationship between dog years and human years. Since Labrador retrievers are perhaps the most universally loved breed of dog, Ideker and the team illustrated their findings using the human equivalent: Tom Hanks.
According to the DNA analysis, a 1-year-old Lab is equivalent to a “Big”-era Hanks, while a 4-year-old mirrors the actor’s star turn in “The Da Vinci Code.” By age 9, a Lab has obtained the approximate gravitas of Hanks starring as Ben Bradlee in “The Post.”
The study’s dog-year equation front-loads even more of a dog’s developmental aging into its first year. That’s readily apparent when compared with the more linear approaches of the other estimates.
In the new equation, a 2-year-old Lab is the same genetic age as a 41-year-old human. If you’ve ever watched a young dog sprint across a field in a matter of seconds you may question whether this comparison is any more accurate than previous ones.
When this question was posed to Ideker via email, he asked if I was “implying that a 40 year old is not energetic??!?!? This 47 year old begs to differ. Rather than get depressed that your 2 year old dog is a 40 year old human — why not rejoice that your 40 year old human is a 2 year old dog!”
On a more serious note, he said that those figures were simply what the DNA analysis showed. “This molecular characterization may or may not capture the entire experience of aging,” he added. “Our curve is based on one particular molecular measurement, albeit the first really quantitative one. But this story is clearly just beginning — the full verdict on dog-human aging is definitely not yet in and likely will not be for some time.”
Teacher’s Pets: Animals in the Classroom More schools are using animals to teach students confidence, compassion, and other lessons they can’t get from textbooks.Students at Savoy Elementary care for guinea pigs Oreo and Cookie Dough. Their teacher credits the pets with teaching the kids empathy.
“Having a classroom pet really does make a big difference,” the
trust’s executive director, Steve King, says; the animals teach
responsibility and spark a fascination with the natural world. Grants,
from $50 to $192 per teacher, are applied for and approved
DOGS CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND IF YOU WANT TOO SHARE !!
A public transit pup! Meet the Seattle dog who takes the bus by HERSELF every day to visit her favorite dog park Eclipse, a Labrador-Mastiff mix called a Mastador, takes the D Line bus from her home to Belltown Dog Park in Seattle every day The eight-year-old pup has a travel card attached to her collar so she can travel alone She began her solo antics after her owner Jeff Young was 'taking too long' to get on the bus one day She now has a fan club, and Seattle residents who take the bus recognize her and sit with her
A determined dog takes the bus alone to her favorite dog park every day — and her solo antics have won her a legion of fans across the city.
Eclipse, a Mastador from Seattle, Washington, began to jump aboard to the D Line bus to the Belltown Dog Park after she moved from a farm in Hoodsport, Washington to her new home with owner Jeff Young at just six months old.
The eight-year-old pup is now well known across the city, with those in Seattle gushing she 'makes everybody happy' when she jumps on the bus with a travel ticket attached to her collar.
Miss independent! Eclipse began to jump aboard to the D Line bus to the Belltown Dog Park in Seattle after she moved to the city with her owner Jeff Young
The eight-year-old pup is now well known across the city, with those in Seattle gushing she 'makes everybody happy' when she jumps on the bus with a travel card attached to her collar
In a Facebook post, onlooker and Seattle native Robbie Lauren explained how Eclipse first started taking the bus by herself when Young was taking too long to jump aboard.
00:15 / 00:15TOP ARTICLES4/5READ MOREGroom plans to asks 'stunning' sister to'tone it down' for his wedding so she won't upstage bride
But she said the pup — who is a mix of Labrador Retriever and Mastiff — now leaves the house alone, and takes the bus downtown where she spends 'a couple of hours getting exercise' before heading back by herself.
'This is Eclipse. Every day she leaves her house, by herself, and takes the bus downtown to the dog park where she spends a couple of hours getting exercise and making friends, and then she takes the bus back home again', she said.
'She even has her own bus pass attached to the collar.'
Lauren added: 'It started when her owner, Jeff Young, was taking too long when the bus arrived, so she impatiently ran ahead and got on the bus by herself.
'The bus driver recognized her and dropped her off at the dog park, and later Jeff caught up with her. After several more trips by herself, Jeff started letting her go on her own, and she always comes back home a couple of hours later.'
Eclipse the Seattle dog takes the bus solo to go to the dog parkLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time1:22FullscreenNeed Text
The independent pup will spend 'a couple of hours getting exercise' at the dog park before heading home alone (Pictured: Eclipse on the bus)
Lauren added that 'all the bus drivers' who drive the D Line now know Eclipse well, and many regular passengers will sit down next to her when they spot her on their commute.
'All of the bus drivers know her and she makes them smile, and many of the regular passengers enjoy seeing her every day and will often sit down next to her,' she said.
'Even the police have given their approval as long as the bus drivers are okay with the arrangement,' she said, because 'she makes everybody happy.'
The determined dog even has her own fan club, named Ecliptomaniacs, with more than 50,000 people following her Facebook page.
Previously, Eclipse's owner explained how he is able to catch up to his pet if she gets on the bus without him, noting that the dog park is only a few stops away.
In a Facebook post, onlooker and Seattle native Robbie Lauren explained how Eclipse first started taking the bus by herself when her owner was taking too long to jump aboard
The determined Labrador even has her own fan club, named Ecliptomaniacs, with more than 50,000 people following her Facebook page
Pictured: Eclipse with bus passengers as she makes her way to the Belltown Dog Park alone
Her owner Jeff Young previously explained how he is able to catch up to Eclipse if she gets on the bus without him as the dog park is only a few stops away
He said: 'It's not hard to get on. She gets on in front of her house and she gets off at the dog park, three or four stops later.'
The dog owner added that their tradition has left the pup 'totally urbanized' and has turned her into a 'bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog.'
'Probably once a week I get a phone call. "Hi. I have your dog Eclipse here on 3rd and Bell." I have to tell them, "no. She's fine." She knows what she's doing.'
Those who travel on the D Line bus past the Belltown dog park are now used to spotting Eclipse on their commute.
Commuter Tiona Rainwater said: 'All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does. She makes everybody happy.'
Young added: 'It makes their day. It's a good part of their day and it works out for her so I just let it go.'
Online child sex abuse reports surge as kids spend more time on computers amid coronavirus
City Hall is reflected on the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit received nearly 3,000 tips in April, up from 1,355 in March.
Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles and across the country have been overwhelmed in recent months by a surge in tips about online child sex abuse, with social media platforms and other service providers flagging explicit content and suspicious interactions at an alarming rate.
With schools closed, youth activities canceled and kids spending more time online under stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, sexual predators have ramped up their efforts to solicit pictures and videos, officials say.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a global clearinghouse that disseminates tips to law enforcement, took in 4.1-million reports of child cyber abuse in April, a fourfold increase over April 2019, said John Shehan, head of the center’s exploited children division.
In March, the center received more than 2-million reports, more than double what it received in March 2019.
Boy who was adopted determined to give a home to senior dogs
Boy who was adopted determined to give a home to senior dogs
START A HOMELESS PET SCHOOL CLUB!
START A HOMELESS PET SCHOOL CLUB!Starting a Homeless Pet School Club is easy and it is FREE. Simply fill out the registration form below and you are on your way to helping homeless animals in your community. If your area does not have a participating shelter, please select the Homeless Pet Foundation. We will partner with your school club in providing a homeless pet for adoption and via our Underhound Railway transport the pet for free to its new home and Dr. Good will personally meet with your pet's new adopted family.
What Teachers Are Saying
"We set the time for our first club meeting for 7 a.m. and 140 kids showed up! We have to have before and after school meetings to accommodate all the kids who want to belong!"
"The quiet kid who wasn't in the 'smart bunch' or the 'athletic bunch' turned out to be the one to coordinate our plan to get our sponsored pet adopted, and get everyone motivated. Suddenly, there was something HE could win."
"When HPC starts, girls from all the different groups -- popular, geek, athletic, fashionista, divas -- come together to bake dog treats or help with an adoption. Suddenly, they're not different, because they are all alike in their love of animals."
The good news is it could be worse. He could have announced either boot camps for young offenders or a scared-straight program. Neither of these strategies work, and in fact can be more harmful than doing nothing at all. The bad news is that Guy, like many politicians, is using “tough on crime” promises to win votes.
In the US, following the 1999 Columbine fatal school shooting, there has been a significant increase in the number of police in schools. Despite their presence, there is little evidence to indicate the programs increase community safety. Case in point: the school shooting in Florida this week. As such, and like many US criminal justice responses, we should not rush to replicate them in Australia.
‘Blue’ space: Access to water features can Officials are increasingly recognizing that integrating nature into cities is an effective public health strategy to improve mental health. Doctors around the world now administer “green prescriptions” – where patients are encouraged to spend time in local nature spaces – based on hundreds of studies showing that time in nature can benefit people’s psychological well-being and increase social engagement.
Much of this research to date has focused on the role of green space in improving mental health. But what about “blue” space – water settings such as riverside trails, a lake, a waterfront or even urban fountains? You probably intuitively know that being close to water can induce feelings of calm. And many poets and artists have attested to the sense of awe and magic that water can evoke. But can it deliver the same wide-ranging benefits that urban green infrastructure brings to mental health? A few studies have shown that water bodies score
The number of nearsighted kids is soaring INDIANAPOLIS – When her oldest child came home from school and said vision screening had revealed he would need bifocals, Kailey Welch was shocked. He was only 12. Sure, she wore prescription lenses herself, but she didn’t start until she was well into adulthood. To her greater surprise, three of Welch’s seven other children also have needed glasses. Today, the four oldest of the eight children in her blended family must wear glasses for up-close work. The likely reason, according to her doctor: devices, both at home and at school. Now, the mother closely monitors the younger four children’s screen time and tries to ensure that the older four wear glasses when reading. “I’m definitely paying more attention to it,”
Screens are an easy culprit, but experts suspect that is only part of the explanation. Exposure to sunlight may play a role. More time spent outdoors appears to ward off the need for glasses. Increased awareness among parents to have their children’s eyes screened combined with simple genetics also factor into the equation.
But pinning down exactly why continues to vex the field.
“That’s kind of the million-dollar question now,” said Dr. Katherine Schuetz, a pediatric optometrist with Little Eyes in Indiana. “In our profession, we’re trying to figure out why and fix it.”
When Gen Xers were young in the '70s, about 20% of children in the United States needed glasses. Now that number has inched closer to 40%, said Dr. David Epley, a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Other estimates say the percentage of young people with myopia or nearsightedness is even greater, more than 45%, said Dr. April Jones, a pediatric optometrist with Riley Childrens Health. By 2050, estimates suggest that as much as a quarter of the world may be nearsighted.
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Just two decades ago when Schuetz started in practice, she saw far fewer young patients who required lenses than she sees today. The biggest increase she is seeing comes in children ages 4 to 12.
Nor is the issue just that children with poor vision are showing up younger and younger. Once their eyesight requires corrective lenses, it’s deteriorating faster and faster.
“We do know that genetics play a role, but more and more environment and lifestyle are having a bigger impact than in the past,” Jones said.
Across the globe, researchers note that children in certain countries are more likely to wear glasses than in others. In many parts of Asia, for instance, as many as 90% of children have myopia, one 2012 study found. By contrast, other countries such as Australia boast a lower percentage of children with myopia than in the U.S.
Genetics alone cannot explain such differences. So specialists suggest it’s a combination of factors, starting with screen use.
“There’s probably a partial truth in there,” said Epley, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Kirkland, Washington, of the tendency to blame screens.
Exposure to sunshine, however, may be just as important if not more, experts are beginning to believe. Again, it’s not clear exactly why, but natural sunlight appears to stabilize vision regardless of whether a person uses screens.
In addition, when a child is outside playing, that is time he or she is not bent over a screen, making outdoor time even more important, the experts say.
Studies suggest that exposing the eye to a spectrum of light may prevent the development and progression of myopia, but yet again, it’s unclear why, Epley said.
Skeptics may note that children have been reading books for centuries and that has not had as great an impact, but screens are not exactly equivalent.
In general close work, whether staring at a screen or a book, strains eyes. When a person reads, however, he or she tends to hold the book farther away than a phone or tablet, perhaps because books are bigger.
Holding objects close to the eye flexes muscles in the eye that may wind up telling the body to grow the eyeball, Jones said. While the eyeball naturally lengthens over time and a certain amount of growth each year is expected, screen use may speed up the process, resulting in myopia.
Eventually, a person may develop high myopia, which in addition to requiring him or her to wear corrective lenses raises the risk later in life of complications such as retinal detachment, premature cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
New treatments exist to try to slow the progression of myopia and spare children later in life.
One therapy known as orthokeratology, or Ortho-k, can at least temporarily eradicate the need for glasses. Each night the child puts in special hard contact lenses that reshape the eyeball as he or she sleeps.
Some specialists prefer using eye drops of atropine, a medicine originally used as a nervous system blocker to treat heart rhythm problems. These drops slow the progression of myopia without risking infection as a hard contact lens may, Epley said.
For Reid McKay, however, Ortho-k has been a game changer.
Every night for the past three years, the fourth grader has worn the hard lenses. During the day, he no longer needs glasses.
The 9-year-old was prescribed corrective lenses in kindergarten after complaining about headaches. His mother, Kelly McKay, attributes his condition to genetics, not screens, as both she and her husband both have what she calls “horrible eyesight.”
About a year after Reid first started wearing glasses, his optometrist recommended he try the hard lenses to slow down the progression of his nearsightedness. At first, Reid struggled, but now he’s a pro.
"It’s just perfect vision every day now for him,” his mother said.
"Kindness has no limit." Nine-year-old Leah dreamed of spreading kindness one small act at a time. Within only a few years, her kindness has turned into a worldwide phenomenon.KIDSKIND, USA TODAY8:54 a.m. PDT July 9, 2019
So I am challenging all of us as we get ready for holidays
So I am challenging all of us as we get ready for the holidays
Mental health is a complex topic, one healthcare professionals and policymakers have experienced countless challenges in addressing over the years. As a society, we have only recently started to move away from stigmas and misconceptions and towards understanding the full range of mental conditions, their expressions and effective treatments.
Teaching children about social justice, animal protection, and environmental ethics develops more compassionate youth and creates a more humane, sustainable world for all life on earth.
To prepare our children for life after school, we teach them reading, writing, history, math, art, and science. In a society facing global issues like interpersonal violence, pollution, institutionalized animal cruelty, and poverty, the next generation needs to be given instruction on more than just the basics. They need to be taught how they can help make this world a better place for people, animals, and the environment.
In its broadest sense, humane education fosters compassion and respect for all living beings and the environment, and empowers students by giving them the tools to make more compassionate and informed choices that combat real-world problems.
Humane education not only allows students to grow and develop into more caring, critical-thinking individuals — it has the ability to transform our world into a more humane place. Although we live in a time of incredible technological advancement, new perils are continuously presenting themselves, and future generations will inherit a beautiful planet, unfortunately fraught with undeniably significant problems. By allowing students to learn crucial information and develop solutions for many of the modern issues facing our world, humane education promises to usher in a global community that is truly prepared to make the planet a more peaceful and sustainable place.
Humane education connects the dots between environmental ethics, social justice, and animal protection issues. Instead of isolating problems and encouraging students to develop similarly narrow solutions, comprehensive humane education invites learners to think about the interconnected nature of many problems. This holistic approach allows students to understand how one seemingly isolated issue, climate change as an environmental example, is tied to people and animals, both in creation and consequence.
Groundbreaking study examines effects of screen time on kids 60 Minutes goes inside a landmark government study of young minds to see if phones, tablets and other screens are impacting adolescent brain development
If you have kids and wonder if all that time they spend on their smartphones endlessly scrolling, snapping and texting is affecting their brains, you might want to put down your own phone and pay attention. The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, has launched the most ambitious study of adolescent brain development ever attempted. In part, scientists are trying to understand what no one currently does: how all that screen time impacts the physical structure of your kids' brains, as well as their emotional development and mental health.
At 21 sites across the country scientists have begun interviewing nine and ten-year-olds and scanning their brains. They'll follow more than 11,000 kids for a decade, and spend $300 million doing it. Dr. Gaya Dowling of the National Institutes of Health gave us a glimpse of what they've learned so far.
The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy (HSISP) works to advance the application of scientific and technical analysis and expertise to animal welfare issues and policy questions worldwide, and to reinforce the importance of animal welfare science as a credible and valid field of inquiry.
Humane Education Resource Guide A Guide For Elementary
Humane Education Resource Guide A Guide For Elementary School Teachers In New York State ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The lessons in this Guide serve to fulfill the requirements of the New York State Humane Education Law (Article 17, Section 809) as well as the Project Schools Against Violence in Education (Project SAVE) Act which requires instruction in character education for all grade levels. The principal writers of this Guide were:
HOW TROUBLING YOUTH TRENDS AND A CALL FOR CHARACTER EDUCATION ARE BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO EFFORTS TO EDUCATE OUR YOUTH ABOUT THE VALUE OF ALL LIFE The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it—at no matter what risk. This is the only hope society has. This is the only way societies change. 1
No room for the mentally ill As board and care homes close, officials are seeking money from Sacramento.SAM BLAKE makes a bed at the Blake Home, which he runs with his mother and sister, in Sylmar. L.A. County lost nearly 1,000 such beds in a three-year spanAlarmed by the shuttering of dozens of board and care homes that serve low-income people with debilitating mental illness, Los Angeles officials are stepping up their lobbying efforts to secure more funding in next year’s state budget. Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, appealed to Gov. Gavin Newsom directly in a letter sent on Monday. Residents are literally “dying on our streets for want of state action to support this critical infrastructure,” he wrote. Lynn’s letter cited an article in The Times detailing the financial stress on board and care homes from a state-regulated funding system that limits their income to $35 per day for each client. The licensed homes provide 24-hour staff
Lynn’s letter follows a motion approved this month by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors that directed county staff to identify opportunities at the state level to improve funding for the homes.
“The state needs to start reimbursing these facilities for the actual cost of the care they provide,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who was co-author of the motion.
The supervisors also instructed the county departments of health and mental health and the chief executive officer to identify county funding and engage philanthropic organizations to “preserve and expand the number of beds serving low-income individuals.”
The “motion lays out first steps for reversing this trend and ensuring that we have an adequate supply of beds for those who need them,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, a co-author.
The motion, responding to a consultant’s report on the financial hardships and temptations of a tight real-estate market that have caused board and care homes to close, also proposes establishing a capital fund to help facilities catch up with maintenance that they have been unable to afford.
The county agencies are scheduled to report on their progress in December.
The city of Los Angeles also may throw its lobbying weight into the effort.
Citing The Times article, City Councilwoman Nury Martinez introduced a motion to have the city’s 2019-2020 state legislative program include “legislation or administrative action which would increase the state payment rate for licensed board and care facilities which serve vulnerable communities, especially seniors with mental health issues.”
The motion will be heard early next year in committee at City Hall.
Their kids died on the psych ward. They were far from alone, a Times investigation found Mia St. John with a portrait of her son, Julian, who had schizophrenia and died by suicide while in a psychiatric facility. (Liz Moughon
Mia St. John’s cellphone lit up with a message from the psychiatrist treating her son. The voicemail shimmered with hope, the first she had felt in months.
The doctor said Julian, admitted to a psychiatric facility with schizophrenia, seemed more cheerful, was talking more with other patients and would soon begin a new art project.
“Very happy to see he’s coming around a bit,” the doctor said.
It was November 2014, and Julian, 24, had been living at La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Long Beach for two months. Mia and her ex-husband, Kristoff St. John, had resorted to involuntarily committing their son after he threatened to kill himself in September.
National Capital Therapy Dogs,Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal-Assisted Activities "The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment." - American Veterinary Medical Association
Companion animals offer security, companionship, comfort, and unconditional love. Pet therapy programs bring those and other benefits to people in health facilities, shelters, schools, libraries, and other settings where people may not be able to have pets of their own. Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and other animal-assisted activities (AAA).
AAT is a growing field in which dogs or other animals are included in a patient's treatment plan in order to assist with recovery or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders.
AAA on the other hand, have a more general purpose, such as providing comfort and enjoyment for nursing home residents by way of recreational or visitation programs.
While some people are naturally more empathetic, research has found that empathy is a skill that can and should be learned and cultivated. Many teachers naturally infuse empathy into their classes each day: demonstrating patience, modeling kindness, and exploring the definitions of “feelings” and “fairness.” Becoming more intentional with teaching empathy is necessary as we consider students growth beyond the classroom. As the emphasis on teaching empathy grows, fortunately, so do the possibilities of incorporating it into the classroom. Animals are a great way to make empathy a more focused and intentional presence in the classroom. Not only do animals teach responsibility, planning, and problem-solving, but they allow us to model empathetic behavior.
Animals provide a means to see beyond ourselves to others, and through practicing the act of kindness and learning to gently handle the animals, students are better equipped to care for their peers. It also brings a welcome shift
Building Empathy in the Classroom
One of the hot topics in educational and societal discussions today is how to build empathy and encourage compassion in the youth of today. As we continue to strive find ways to better both academic and character education, some teachers have found one tool that is having an impact in the lives of their students:classroom pets.
When small animal pets are part of the classroom pet experience, students are benefitting. Numerous studies show the positive impact pets can have on kids, and teachers are seeing this impact in the classroom as well. Students are not only more excited about learning, but they are also developing empathy and compassion by becoming aware of the needs of these animals and by seeing how their actions affect their little friends.
Marie Roberts, a teacher from Fort Worth, TX stated after getting her classroom pet at the beginning of the school year:
Redefining Humane Education Focusing on dogs and empathy helps children learn.
Mikey hated school and everything about it. A first grader in a small town in Kentucky, Mikey already had a reputation as a handful. He disrupted, interrupted, erupted and was generally frustrated and isolated. He didn’t speak at grade level and resisted gestures of friendship.
Mikey’s school had recently implemented the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program that uses the affinity between children and dogs to teach kids the skills they need to develop emotional intelligence: empathy, resilience, self-awareness, cooperation and decision-making. All of the curriculum’s lessons build on children’s intense connections to canines, specifically shelter dogs, to illustrate the nuances of body language, the power of unconditional love, and the myriad similarities between dogs and people, as well as between people and people.
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Comfort dogs in NYC schools transform learning experience
In efforts to teach resiliency, as well as social and emotional skills, some New York City schools are bringing comfort dogs into the classroom. Bianna Golodryga visits an elementary school in Brooklyn to see how the students are responding.
The Empathy Connection Beginning at birth, we surround children with animal presences. Their clothing is decorated with animals. Stuffed animals are cuddled, named, and become trusted confidants. Plastic animals accompany them in their baths. Most children learn their numbers by counting animals and learn to read from pages filled with pictures of animals. Of course, real animals also fill their lives: companions at home, creatures encountered in nature, and those introduced to them in school and in the media. The purpose of this booklet is to provide teachers and parents with information on the importance of empathy to children’s success at school and in their social and personal lives. We will also illustrate the valuable role that animals play in the development of empathy. We will offer practical ideas for helping children learn this important skill through their everyday contact with animals. Once we become alert to the various ways in which the lives of animals intersect with ours, we can take advantage of this relationship to provide children with the opportunity to grow empathetically.“The Empathy Connection” first answers basic questions: What is empathy? Why is empathy important? What does empathy have to do with how we treat animals? After establishing this understanding, we will present both general and specific “empathy building tips.”