Collars & Scholars Program

Collars & Scholars Program

Collars & Scholars, HSSC’s newest humane education program, is a nine-week course that emphasizes the concepts of self-awareness, empathy, and compassion—for other people and for animals. This program is a joint venture of HSSC and The Florida Center for Early Childhood, brought together by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The pilot program, which ran February–May 2019, took place at Gocio Elementary School and consisted of a small group of fourth and fifth graders. All the participants were selected by the school-based mental health therapist. The program uses the principles of the human-animal bond to boost students’ social and emotional health.

Collars & Scholars lessons, which are led by knowledgeable HSSC staff, are a mix of group discussion, worksheets, activities, journaling, puppets, games, and ample time to interact with the animal visitors—typically three or four of HSSC’s Pet Therapy teams plus shelter animals. We drew on landmark programs like Mutt-i-grees® (a collaboration of North Shore Animal League America and Yale University’s School of the 21st Century) to develop the curriculum. The goal is to create a safe, welcoming space for children to learn about animals and themselves. Students who began the pilot program as shy and disengaged were, by week nine, eagerly participating, sharing their thoughts, showing respect for others, and actively engaging with the animals and presenters.

“Humane education teaches students how to treat animals with compassion and respect and love. They take these lessons, and they can practice them every day throughout their lives.”—Christen Benson, HSSC Executive Director

HSSC is not new to humane education, having spent years visiting local schools, libraries, and community centers and presenting on everything from empathy to safe animal handling. Thousands of children have attended our Fur Fun Camps, and our certified Pet Therapy teams have helped students improve their reading skills simply by acting as a supportive audience while the children read aloud to the therapy dogs. And our experience bringing Pet Therapy to senior citizens, hospice patients, people in rehab programs, and others experiencing tough times, has demonstrated the profound affect animals can have, something emerging research confirms. Humane education efforts are part of HSSC’s long-term vision to build a community where all animals are cared for and loved. By sowing seeds of compassion and respect for animals now, we hope to reap a more humane future. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County believes this program and the collaboration between HSSC and The Florida Center is a way to address the underlying causes of some of society’s most complex problems. Sensitivity to children’s emotional development, coupled with innovative experiences like Collars & Scholars, can position at-risk children for success and lead to fewer instances of animal cruelty and neglect.

“We know these social and emotional skills are necessary for going on to be successful not only academically, but in life. With these kids being our future, that is ultimately what the success of this program is. What animals bring to our lives is so special, and by bringing together unlikely suspects, like HSSC and The Florida Center, you sometimes get greater results.”—Roxie Jerde, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Having seen the remarkable results of the pilot program, we hope to bring Collars & Scholars to other schools in Sarasota County and we're excited to see how the program will grow. The Collars & Scholars Program is adaptable for children ages 3 and up. Those interested in Collars & Scholars are invited to contact Christen Benson at 941.955.4131 x102. 

  The Collars & Scholars Program is led by HSSC staff, in partnership with school-based counselors from The Florida Center for Early Childhood. It's made possible by a grant from the Robert Parker Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

You may also be interested in these other HSSC Humane Education Programs: Classroom Visits Reading Fur Fun Fur Fun Camps  Teen Club  Host a Drive

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Summer Camp Scholarship

2019 Summer Camp Scholarship

Please complete and submit the form below to provide one-week camp scholarships for deserving local children.

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2019 BO1-0611-6PM

Registration Form

Please complete and submit the form at the bottom of the page to register for the following K-9 Obedience Training Course: Basic Obedience 1, on Tuesdays at 6pm. Starts on June 11, 2019; Ends on July 16, 2019. **If this is not the course you wish to register for, please return to the main K-9 Obedience Training Courses page and select the form for the course you want.** After registering, you will receive an email confirmation. If you have any questions, please contact Hayley Harvey at 941.955.4131 x113. HSSC is located at 2331 15th Street, Sarasota, FL 3427. Your class will be held in the training building. Your instructor will contact you with additional details prior to the course start date. If, upon reviewing your registration form, HSSC or its instructors feel your dog is not suitable for this course, they reserve the right to revoke your registration. You will be refunded at that time. If your dog is reactive to people or other dogs, a group class may not be an option. Please contact us to discuss options for you and your dog. Once the course is underway, no refunds will be issued.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY By registering for this course, you agree to the following: The Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc. (HSSC) wants you to be satisfied with your participation in our K-9 Obedience Training Courses. For successful participation and enjoyment, we ask that you understand and agree to the following course requirements: The fee for this course is non-refundable. Unless otherwise stated, this course runs for six consecutive weeks and there are no make-up classes. Out of fairness to all participants, classes will begin promptly at the stated time. Each owner is responsible for providing proper training equipment and suitable treats. Please remember to wear closed-toe shoes to class. Remember that every interaction you have with your dog is a training opportunity. Either your dog is training you, or you are training your dog...it's your decision! If your dog is a disruption to the class, the trainer reserves the right to excuse the dog and handler. I understand that there are inherent risks associated with the presence of dogs in training. I assume full responsibility for myself, my dog, any other handlers of my dog, and any observers that attend my class with me. I agree that I have given full disclosure of any history of aggressive behavior by my dog, and understand that failure to do so will result in being excused from the class and no refund will be given. I agree to hold harmless HSSC, its staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors for any harm that may happen to me or my pet during the course of training. I understand that trainers may intervene in dog-to-dog interactions and separate dogs as needed. I grant full permission to HSSC to use any photographs or video recordings of this event for any purposes.  

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2019 BO1-0626-12PM

Registration Form

Please complete and submit the form at the bottom of the page to register for the following K-9 Obedience Training Course: Basic Obedience , on Wednesdays at 12pm. Starts on June 6, 2019; Ends on July 31, 2019. **If this is not the course you wish to register for, please return to the main K-9 Obedience Training Courses page and select the form for the course you want.** After registering, you will receive an email confirmation. If you have any questions, please contact Hayley Harvey at 941.955.4131 x113. HSSC is located at 2331 15th Street, Sarasota, FL 3427. Your class will be held in the training building. Your instructor will contact you with additional details prior to the course start date. If, upon reviewing your registration form, HSSC or its instructors feel your dog is not suitable for this course, they reserve the right to revoke your registration. You will be refunded at that time. If your dog is reactive to people or other dogs, a group class may not be an option. Please contact us to discuss options for you and your dog. Once the course is underway, no refunds will be issued.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY By registering for this course, you agree to the following: The Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc. (HSSC) wants you to be satisfied with your participation in our K-9 Obedience Training Courses. For successful participation and enjoyment, we ask that you understand and agree to the following course requirements: The fee for this course is non-refundable. Unless otherwise stated, this course runs for six consecutive weeks and there are no make-up classes. Out of fairness to all participants, classes will begin promptly at the stated time. Each owner is responsible for providing proper training equipment and suitable treats. Please remember to wear closed-toe shoes to class. Remember that every interaction you have with your dog is a training opportunity. Either your dog is training you, or you are training your dog...it's your decision! If your dog is a disruption to the class, the trainer reserves the right to excuse the dog and handler. I understand that there are inherent risks associated with the presence of dogs in training. I assume full responsibility for myself, my dog, any other handlers of my dog, and any observers that attend my class with me. I agree that I have given full disclosure of any history of aggressive behavior by my dog, and understand that failure to do so will result in being excused from the class and no refund will be given. I agree to hold harmless HSSC, its staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors for any harm that may happen to me or my pet during the course of training. I understand that trainers may intervene in dog-to-dog interactions and separate dogs as needed. I grant full permission to HSSC to use any photographs or video recordings of this event for any purposes.  

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2019 General Volunteer Fees & Purchases

2019 General Volunteer Fees & Purchases

Please use this secure form to pay your General Volunteer Registration Fees and/or to buy additional badges, t-shirts, and offsite polos. Your initial fee ($35) covers our cost to issue your t-shirt, name badge, and liability insurance for one year. Additional or replacement badges, t-shirts, and offsite polos can be purchased here for $5, $10, and $25, respectively.  If you have any questions, please contact Hayley Harvey at 941.955.4131 x113.

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THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY
2331 15th Street | Sarasota, FL 34237 | 941.955.4131 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
THE ANIMAL CLINIC OF HSSC
1090 North Tuttle Ave | Sarasota, FL 34237 | 941.364.3605 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© 2019 Humane Society of Sarasota County. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Site Map

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC., IS A PRIVATE, NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) CORPORATION REGISTERED WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER SERVICES, REGISTRATION NUMBER CH239, AND RECEIVES 100% OF ALL DONATED FUNDS. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR ONLINE AT WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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