IHE graduate Kelle Kersten

I Am a Humane Educator: Kelle Kersten

IHE M.Ed. grad Kelle Kersten has more than 20 years experience as an organic farmer/gardener. Currently Kelle lives and gardens veganically with her husband at their vegan homestead, Ahimsa Village, in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. She offers paid and work shares for friends to share in the bounty of her gardens. Kelle says, “I…

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rainforest in the classroom

Are the Holidays Wearing You Down or Filling You Up? It’s Your Choice

by Lynne Westmoreland This is the time of year set aside to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice, and Kwanzaa. The themes of the season are the return of hope, abundance, and protection, the return of the light, and a reminder to return to our spirituality and personal transformation as well. But in the last…

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holiday gifts

Tips for Happier, More Humane Gift-Giving

by Marsha Rakestraw This time of year the news is full of headlines about online sales, various shopping frenzies (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), and an even earlier start on holiday buying. Juxtaposed with the high-energy holiday consumer craze are stories giving us tips for reducing our holiday stress and finding ways to make the…

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social media

Empower Don’t Paralyze: 6 Tips for Sharing About Global Ethical Issues

by Marsha Rakestraw As I scroll down my Facebook wall, I skim across a horrific image of cruelty that someone has posted, with a caption that merely says “This has to stop!” and no other information. The image is so traumatizing that I quickly skip by it, and even consider hiding that person’s posts from…

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dictionary

The Trouble With “It”

by Shannon Finch I’d like to discuss a small word with a big problem: “it.” First, a little grammar review for you. “It” is a pronoun, like he or she, that takes the place of a noun. An antecedent, such as “the butterfly,” “the child,” or “the tree,” comes first so that readers know what…

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Cassandra Sheffman

I Am a Humane Educator: Cassandra Scheffman

by Marsha Rakestraw IHE M.Ed. graduate Cassandra Scheffman was raised with a love of animals and the natural world. She has worked in the environmental nonprofit sector, taught high school and as an environmental educator, and now works as the associate director of adult programs at the First Unitarian Church of Portland in Oregon. Cassandra…

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Humane Educator’s Toolbox: Changing Systems Through Design

Many of us make the choices we do because we’re trying to do the right thing – we want to do the most good and least harm for people, nonhuman animals, and the earth. But what we think we know about making more sustainable choices is often based on incomplete information. And we’re often limited…

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A birthday cake with letter candles that spell out Happy Birthday

Tips for Ethical, Low-Waste, Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties

by Marsha Rakestraw Balloons and decorations. Disposable tableware. Gift wrap and little plastic toys. Birthday parties are often accompanied by a slew of waste and wear on people, animals, and the earth. But parties can be fun and full of humane choices that do more good and less harm. Here are tips to consider for…

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kids

8 Videos Exploring Empathy

by Marsha Rakestraw Empathy is a key component of humane education, and something our society is increasingly recognizing as essential to our well-being and that of the world. Studies show that we’re innately wired to be empathetic. When we’re able to put ourselves in the place of another, and to imagine the kind of world…

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Resources: Think Therefore I Act

I Think Therefore I Act

Based on the Privilege Walk, this activity encourages students/participants to develop an awareness of the kinds of choices we make every day that impact other people, nonhuman animals, and the environment. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: A few class periods

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