The position of Humane Educator includes a variety of responsibilities such as answering phones, being able to give interviews to the media while holding a cat or a dog and showing up to a school with a dog to present the No More Bullying program.
Those are just a few of the things that Jenna Keyes does as part of her job as Humane Educator with the St. Joseph Animal Shelter.
This week, Keyes, along with her dog Barney, is presenting the No More Bullying Program at Pickett Elementary School to third and fifth graders.
Keyes said the No More Bullying Program was established by Wayside Waifs in Kansas City and the shelter brought it to St. Joseph last year.
“It talks about not bullying people as well as not bullying animals. It teaches the kids a little bit about animal safety along the way too and core values like responsibility, compassion, being humane, importance of self-control along with integrity, so we hit on some really big topics,” Keyes said. “It’s a great time to interact with the kids, there’s a dog in the classroom that they get to interact with and use some of these skills that they’re learning in class with the animals, as well as hopefully with their friends in class too.”
Third grade teacher Bobbie Walker said students seem to enjoy the program and are learning things along the way.
“They love it, they love Barney, he’s their favorite,” Walker said. “But even throughout the day, after the lesson’s over, when we do things, they’ll say, ‘That’s being responsible’ or ‘That’s showing compassion.’ It’s really incorporating a lot of those skills that the counselor teaches them, those character traits like responsibility, compassion.”
Third grader Adalyn’s favorite part of the program is Barney, who showed up to class on Halloween dressed as a shark.