Animal Appreciation Day
Celebrating animal‟s life in all its forms and being thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives, is a great way to help children know more about different kinds of animals, especially pets. Animal Appreciation Day indeed created curiosity among the children as they brought stuffed animals to school. We held this event on February 9, 2018 in our school, ISMILE Belleza. There was a lot of fun and excitement to see different pets that the children brought to school, such as dogs, hamsters, rabbits, and birds. Through this event, the children were inspired to create and developing a sense of responsibility and compassion towards animals.
Our school invited the team from dog lovers and shelter organization to share how to respect and look after the dogs. All the children enjoyed this session very much. They also visited each other’s classes to see the pets that they brought to school. They were so eager to observe and interact with the different pets.
ISMILE Menteng and Plaza Indonesia
Last February 9, 2018, ISMILE MENTENG students celebrated the Pet and Animal Appreciation Day with our friends from ISMILE Plaza Indonesia. The annual Pet and Animal Appreciation Day is held across all ISMILE family of schools as a commitment to raise awareness and compassion as well as encourage good stewardship towards God's creations at a young age.
Rumah Singgah TPP, an organization dedicated to rescuing and facilitating the adoption of dogs joined us in our endeavor. They promoted their cause and gave the children a chance to play with the puppies they brought with them.
The children were happy and enjoyed their interaction with the animals. Petting and animal engagement gave all the children clearer picture on how the animals react to the way they treat them. The experience led to them empathizing and being kind toward other living creatures.
During the event, the children had the chance to bring their pets to school. They lovingly petted or gently touched the puppies and turtles and were intrigued gazing at the colorful birds and seemingly unmoving gecko. Some children lingered by the furry friends while others stayed with the feathered or the reptilian ones.
Instilling positive values towards animals is important not just for animal welfare but for child wellbeing as well. Studies suggest that direct interaction with animals help promote empathy development and pro-social behaviors in children (Ascione & Weber, 1996; George, 1999).
We had a blast as we celebrated Pet and Animals Awareness Day. It was wonderful to be once again reminded to be more aware and appreciative of all animals because they are God’s beautiful creatures.
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. (Anatole France)
On February 9, 2018 ISMILE Bandung invited the children to bring their favorite animals or pets to school, so that our children will enjoy real experiences in seeing, investigating, touching, and holding different animal friends. This also gave a chance to share their knowledge about taking care of these animals to their peers during Animal Appreciation Day.
From a tiny little guppy fish, to hard shell tortoises, furry cats and rabbits, feathery birds, chickens, and ducks, Pomeranians, Golden Retriever, and even a big Saint Bernard dog; enthusiastically, our children threw questions as they tried to hold, pet, touch, and even talk to these animals.
To add to the excitement of the Animal Appreciation Day, a Nocturnal room was set up where our children met and observed their nocturnal friends such as a hedgehog, a gecko, spiders, owls, bats, hamsters, and sugar gliders.
Through this event, we believed that our children not only discovered happiness by seeing various animal friends, but also learned how to respect and treat those who are different from them with kindness, compassion, and empathy. It is a good opportunity for them to learn values that hopefully will extend not only to future relationship with animals, but also to the human community.
“Do to others as how you want others to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)