HEART Celebrates 2019 Compassionate Communities Award

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Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART) is excited to announce the culminating celebration of our 2019 Compassionate Communities Award competition on Wednesday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Yes We Can Community Center, 141 Garden St., Westbury, NY 11590.

HEART is a nonprofit public charity based in New York dedicated to fostering a more compassionate and sustainable world through education. HEART conducts direct-service programs for K-12 students both in-school and out-of-school, provides professional development and consultation for teachers, and creates various educational resources such as free lessons, webinars, and videos. The Compassionate Communities Award competition is being offered by HEART as an innovative way of sharing humane education practices and resources that inspire respect, empathy and social engagement among elementary-aged students. 

An esteemed panel of independent judges—including Legislator Denise Ford and leaders from the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, and Rescue Paw Foundation—will select the winning schools. Rescue Paw Foundation will be providing generous $5,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize, and $500 third prize gifts to recognize excellence in, and support further enhancement of, a school-wide approach to nurturing compassion and respect for all living beings.

Thanks to the generous support of Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, and Director of the Yes We Can Community Center Estefany Garay, 12 schools from the surrounding districts of Hempstead, Mineola, Valley Stream 30 and Roosevelt will each be showcasing their extraordinary commitment to creating a school culture of compassion and respect, and enhancing the wider community in which they play such a vital role, by incorporating humane education programming and community outreach projects into their curriculum. 

The participating schools have all created new programs and projects—or expanded existing programming—that highlight our deep connections to the animals with whom we share our daily lives, and our local and global natural world. Schools have implemented innovative programs that highlight their important role in supporting the welfare of companion, wild, and farm animals through school-wide learning experiences, and active, community-based service projects. Get ready to learn about the needs of our local dog and cat populations; how school gardens can promote healthier eating by expanding our plant-based diets; and the many ways that we can protect our local wildlife habitats and support a more sustainable planet for us all.

These and many other exciting and impactful school initiatives will be presented at the celebration on June 5, and the winning school will be selected. While only one school will receive the $5,000 award, every school participating in this contest has shown that they are winners in the most important arena: they are leaders in creating more compassionate and sustainable communities.

RSVP to Claire Sterling, chief operating officer of HEART, at clairesterling@teachheart.org or 929-244-9186.

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