INITIATIVE LAUNCHES WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM FEBRUARY 15AT SAGEMONT SCHOOL IN WESTON, FLORIDA
CLUB CREATED AS 10TH BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR MRS. POPE'S GRANDSON REEVE
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prominent philanthropist Lois Pope was searching for the perfect 10th birthday gift for her grandson Reeve. She called her son, the noted author and businessman Paul David Pope, for advice and to brainstorm an idea. Knowing that Reeve has had a special affinity for animals since he was a mere toddler – he has two English bulldogs, two Rottweilers and several ponies – and that it's never too early in one's life to learn and have compassion and respect for animals, Mrs. Pope and her son knew that the gift that would be most meaningful to him would be something animal-related.
The result is a 10th birthday present that is better than any box wrapped in festive paper and a bow could ever hold. Indeed, in Reeve Pope's honor and through her Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, she has partnered with American Humane Association to create the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, a nationwide after-school program where students engage in a humane education curriculum developed by American Humane Association and built on the pillars of character, compassion, and respect. The project is an innovative, new year-round extension of American Humane Association's century-old humane education program Be Kind to Animals Week®, which has taught generations of American children the importance of caring for all living things. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been the country's leading voice for the protection and well-being of animals.
The first of these clubs will launch on Friday, February 15, at the Sagemont School in Weston, FL, where Reeve Pope is the president.
"I'm so pleased that my grandson Reeve shares my love for animals. He's a 'dog-a-holic' like me," Mrs. Pope said. "Through the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, he, and children here in South Florida and across the country, will now have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of animals with compassion. They will learn about respect for animals and all living creatures and even get to advocate for local animals in need in their hometown communities."
Students in the Sagemont School's LIFE Humane Heroes Club will enjoy a tour of the new Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicle – the newest addition to American Humane Association's renowned Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services program providing on-site rescue, medical and education services – and a special visit with American Humane Association Therapy Dog Bailey over the coming weeks.
They, and students at clubs that will be established in schools across the country, will learn from an innovative humane education curriculum developed by American Humane Association. The curriculum includes downloadable lesson plans designed to assist educators in incorporating current humane education topics into club meetings. These lesson plans are aligned with national education standards and also address the pillars of character, while considering the needs of a wide range of student abilities and learning styles. The plans include "KIDS: Kids Interacting with Dogs Safely," a trademarked dog-bite prevention program from American Humane Association; "What A Dog Needs," "Tag, You're Home," "Introduction to Animals," "Can I Have a Dog, Please?," "Do Animals Matter?," "Pet Overpopulation in the U.S.," "Pet Responsibility," and "Animals and Cosmetics Testing."
Clubs will also be provided with pledge cards, whereby students can make a pledge to be humane. Field trips to local shelters and visits with therapy dogs will be encouraged. And clubs will be encouraged to advocate for a dog or cat from a local shelter, championing a second chance for the homeless pet.
"The LIFE Humane Heroes Club gives children a voice in the compassion movement, while embracing the power of the human-animal bond," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "We are deeply grateful to Lois Pope and the LIFE Foundation for once again affirming their unwavering commitment to cementing and furthering this bond through the establishment of this club."
Mrs. Pope is a longtime supporter and advocate of animal welfare and well-being efforts. She has made major gifts to American Humane Association to expand its renowned Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services efforts in South Florida, including fully outfitting a Red Star Animal Emergency Services mobile unit based in Palm Beach to provide on-site rescue and medical services, as well as conduct humane education and animal cruelty seizures in the region. She is also a presenting sponsor of the organization's Hero Dog Awards. And, a number of years ago, she funded a new mobile pet adoption unit at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, among her philanthropic efforts on behalf of animals.
For more information on American Humane Association and the LIFE Humane Heroes Club, visit www.americanhumane.org or call (800) 227-4645.
About American Humane Association American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education) Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for five new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.