Kindergarten: Animals

When our children first enter school they are ready to move from make believe to the real world. It’s one of the major steps forward in their lives. Entering kindergarten is a first impression of education and how it makes sense in their lives. They are ready to do good things, important things and they expect this. We need to build on their excitement and give them opportunity to play a real role in the adult world. Kindergarten teachers identified animals as the topic area for this age group and created Caring for Animals. If we began with just this one service component, we would have the first foundational building block for a nationally coordinated service curriculum.

Caring for Animals

Kindergarten teachers identified animals as the starting point for a community leadership role.

Beyond Kindergarten

Kindergarteners have a signature project above in Caring for Animals. Created by teachers and our local SPCA it incorporates service learning and curricular components. A dialogue can be created among kindergarteners nationwide using this model. One important point to remember is that the signature service project is not a teaching unit, rather a year-long service engagement with the non-profit partner organization. It is a constant part of the kindergarten classroom experience.

The project possibilities below were created by people who were moved to create solutions for more needs in their community or in their individual lives. As older students or adult community members choose and engage in project replication or development, it is important to remember that Kindergarten is the class representing animals in our service work. Any additional projects need to be shared with the kindergarteners. This is how a community checklist develops. This is how we begin to coordinate at the community and also the national level. This is how we validate the role our youth play in service work topics K – 6th grade. This is how we never forget that this is what they do. This is how they learn about their world and their place in it.

So when you choose one of these projects, let the kindergarten class in your community know and give them updates. If your local school is not involved in this work, ask them why not! This is another way to get ourselves on the same page.

Animal Topic Areas:

  • Therapy
    • Schools
    • Children’s Hospital
    • Autism
    • Nursing Homes
    • Courts
    • Equine Assisted
      • Children
      • At-risk Youth
      • Veterans
  • Rescue
    • Urban
    • Thoroughbred
    • Bunnies
  • Shelters
    • No Kill
    • Beds and Blankets
  • Fostering
    • Preparing for Adoption
    • Reading
    • Training
    • Prison Programs
  • Adoptions
  • Wildlife
    • Birds
    • Bees
    • Bats


“Therapy animals can provide physical, psychological, and emotional benefits to those they interact with, typically in facility settings such as healthcare, assisted living, and schools. While most frequently dogs, therapy animals can include other domesticated species such as cats, equines, and rabbits, to name a few. These pets are evaluated on their ability to safely interact with a wide range of populations, and their handlers are trained in best practices to ensure effective interactions that support animal welfare. Therapy animal handlers may volunteer their time to visit with their animals in the community, or they may be practitioners who utilize the power of the human-animal bond in professional settings.” Pet Partners


Therapy Dogs of Vermont

Tufts: Reading Buddies

Elementary School

Proctor Elementary School Therapy Dog

Middle School

Centennial Middle School, Casper, Wyoming

High School

High School Assistance Dog, Burlington, VT

Michigan Paws for Success

Children’s Hospital

CHLA Dog Therapy Program


Iris and Thula

Nursing Homes




Equine Assisted Therapies

Hearts and Horses

At-Risk Youth

Hearts and Horses: At-Risk Youth


Hearts and Horses: Veterans
Horse Sense and Healing

Horses for Heroes


Urban Animal Control

Stray Rescue of St. Louis


Fire and Ice Training and Rescue


Tranquility Animal Sanctuary
Vested Interest in K9s


No Kill

American Pets Alive

Crafting Beds and Blankets

Kennel Comforters


Preparing for Adoption

Snuggles Project

Reading to shy dogs

Shelter Buddies Program


Say Please Program
Rewarding Calm Behavior

Prison Programs

Leader Dogs for the Blind Prison Puppy Raising Program
NEADS Prison PUP Program
Iowa Prison Dog Training Program
Prison Puppy Program – America’s VetDogs


Operation Bagdad Pups


What would happen if every school district adopted an endangered species? What if school districts combined efforts where necessary and coordinated their efforts with organizations researching these needs to understand how to work together until health was re-established and attention could be turned to another species?


3 Billion Birds



Monarch and Pollinator Highway Act of 2019
Honey Love


Bat Conservation International

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