Educating Our Youth
Humane education is broadly defined as teaching kindness, respect, and empathy for humans, animals, and the environment we share. At the Humane Society of Pinellas, our Deanna Marie Palestra Humane Education and Outreach Program provides humane education at our shelter and in the community through monthly Kids Club activities; Kids Camp during Summer, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks, group tours of our shelter, and community outreach.
Deanna Marie Palestra
HSP’s Humane Education Center is dedicated in loving memory of Deanna Marie Palestra, born March 3, 1962 and entered into eternal rest August 20, 1998. Schooled in biology, marine biology, forestry, the environment and ecosystems, Deanna Marie Palestra dedicated her life towards the education and preservation of nature and wildlife.
Through an intimate bond with her chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy Ghiradelli, Deanna effectively displayed the idea that proper care and treatment of animals was not only humane, but germane to our harmonious existence. Having instructed children of all ages, Deanna’s career path influenced countless individuals and shaped the minds of generations to come. To continue her passion, the Deanna Marie Palestra Humane Education and Outreach Program offers a variety of learning opportunities for Pinellas County youth.
Kid’s Club is a monthly weekend meeting at the Humane Society of Pinellas where youth ages 7 to 12 learn about animal welfare and develop a solid foundation for living a life committed to the compassionate treatment of animals.
Each class features a different curriculum with interactive presentations, group activities, pet-focused crafts; and time spent with the animals in our shelter. Club activities provide children with the tools needed to make a difference in animal welfare, opportunities to learn from each other by sharing personal experiences with their pets and other animals, and having fun in a nurturing setting! Children may attend one class, multiple classes or join us for the entire season.
Club activities occur on weekends between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Participation in each Kids Club meeting is limited to 25 children so advanced registration is recommended.
Cost: $10/month or $50/year
When: September – May
Due to the state of emergency, Kids Club meetings have been postponed until further notice.
The Humane Society of Pinellas offers a variety of Kids Camps in the summer months, as well as during Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks (as set by Pinellas County School District) for youth ages 7 to 14. Our non-residential camps teach youth about animal care, behavior, current events and animal-related careers.
Kids Camp features a different curriculum each week, enabling children who attend a season’s worth of camps to have unique experiences. Camps are facilitated by our humane education staff using resources developed by the Humane Society of Pinellas and other organizations in the field of humane education.
Due to the state of emergency, Kids Camps have been postponed until further notice.
Reading with Pets
Reading to shelter pets is a great way for your children to practice their reading skills without anxiety in an environment that soothes them and their animal audience. Our animals are non-judgmental listeners. They help children gain confidence in their reading abilities while young readers provide gentle human interaction that helps alleviate any stress the animal may be experiencing.
Children may read to our cats, dogs and bunnies any time our shelter is open to the public. No registration or advance notice is required. Simply come, sit, stay and read! Children may bring their own books or select one from our bookcase, located by the Small Wonders animal area. Although dog and small wonders cages may not be entered, children can sit with our kittens and cats while they read.
Due to the state of emergency, Reading with Pets has been postponed until further notice.
Due to the state of emergency, there are no additional opportunities at this time. Please check back later.
Want to learn more?
It’s our pleasure to welcome the youth of our community to HSP. Please contact our Humane Education and Outreach Department for more information.