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Glenside Woman is PETA’s Teacher of the Year

Copper Beach Elementary Educator Teaches Kids Respect for Animals and Their Own Bodies by Introducing Them to Healthy Vegan Foods

For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Glenside, Pa. — Copper Beach Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Mary Ryan goes the extra mile to give her pupils lessons in kindness and good nutrition that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Ryan founded the aptly named Kind Club, which stresses the many benefits of going vegan and the importance of treating animals with respect. For her unwavering dedication to justice for animals, Ryan has been chosen by TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—as 2013 Teacher of the Year. The contest was timed to coincide with Teacher Appreciation Month.

“Mary Ryan makes sure that her students learn the most important lesson of all—showing kindness to others,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “Teaching children empathy for animals is an important part of combating school violence and molding kids into caring adults.”

The following are only a few of Ryan’s activities:

  • Inspiring her students to volunteer at animal shelters
  • Hosting “Meatless Mondays” every week and talking to her students about the cruelty of factory farms and the health benefits of going vegan
  • Persuading the school cafeteria to offer more meat- and dairy-free options
  • Reaching into her own pocket to help students get their animals sterilized
  • Explaining laws and proposed legislation aimed at protecting animals
  • Having students listen as she speaks on the phone with legislators and businesses about animal-related issues
  • Delivering a presentation on humane education to the PTA

Ryan, who also organized and hosted a Great American Meatout event at the school, will receive a framed certificate to display in her classroom and a vegan pizza party from Blackbird Pizzeria for up to 30 kids.

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