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Gerritsen Beach's Kind Kids Club
Initial Meeting

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS   jan2001meet_sm.jpg (4745 bytes)

January 20, 2001 meeting:

     Despite bad weather, more than 30 kids ages 4-11 attended the first meeting of the Kind Kids Animal Lovers Club.  A number of parents as well as younger brothers and sisters also attended the meeting.

     The kids discussed their love of animals and ways they might be able to help.  They shared their experiences of how they have helped animals in the past.  We discussed what they would be asked to do as members of the club and what they expected to get out of it.  They understood that a major benefit of participating in the club was the good feeling they would get from helping those who couldn’t help themselves.  They filled out registration forms that will be used to obtain subscriptions to the Fund for Animals Free Animal Press.   They also filled out evaluation forms in which they were asked to write down words to describe a variety of animals and also to rate those animals on a scale of 1-10 and whether the animals were good, bad or neither.  They will complete these forms again at the last meeting of the season.  A comparison of both sets of forms will show if there has been a change in their attitude towards certain animals after participating in the club for several months.

     The nationally-acclaimed video "Share the World" was shown.  This video is narrated by Richard Kiley and co-hosted by James Cromwell (Farmer Hoggett of "Babe") and model Rashumba.   The kids learned some amazing animal facts, saw how animals are a lot like people, how animals have feelings just like us and how we can all help animals by making compassionate choices in our lives.  The video is available free from Share the World, P. O. Box 42430, Washington, D.C. 20015.

     The kids discussed the various humane projects that they might like to do.  Suggestions included building bird houses, picking up dangerous litter along the beach and helping strays by raising money and collecting needed items for an animal shelter of their choice.  After some discussion it was decided that they would vote next month on which project to do first.   The project will be completed by the first week in May in time for "Be Kind to Animals Week" (May 6-12, 2001).   It is very important that the neighborhood show support for these kids as they work on their project.  The kids have many other activities in their lives.  The fact that they chose to give up their Saturday afternoons in order to spend part of their free time working hard on a project that benefits helpless animals is commendable and deserving of the enthusiasm, encouragement and support of all of the residents of this community.  These kids will be learning important lessons that will help make them good citizens, good neighbors and kind, compassionate human beings.

     The next Animal Lovers meeting will be held on February 10, 2001 at 1:00 P.M. at the Gerritsen Beach Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.  Two of New York’s top dog trainers will be speaking to the kids about training with kindness.  A special four-legged guest will also be there to help demonstrate various training techniques.

     On March 10, 2001, wildlife rehabilitator Eileen Jones will speak to the kids about the "creepy-crawly" animals that many people don’t like.  Emphasis will be placed on the facts that all living beings have a role to play in the environment and that all are entitled to consideration and respect.  Eileen will bring a few surprise "guests" with her.  We’ll also see a video on bats.  Bats are a great example of an animal who is persecuted based on looks, superstition, fear, myth, and misinformation.   Bats are gentle creatures, who perform a number of important services to humans, yet many bat species are endangered because of the ignorance of humans.

     It’s not too late to join the Club. Come by the Gerritsen Beach Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on February 10, 2001 at 1 P.M.  We look forward to seeing you!

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