Miami Beach Woman Is PETA’s Teacher of the Year

Magaly Madrid Empowers Kids to Help Homeless Animals, Try Delicious Vegan Meals, and More

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Miami Beach, Fla. – From including animal-friendly books in her curriculum to hosting a daily after-school program that equips kids to promote cat and dog adoption, protest circuses and petting zoos that hurt animals, and more, Downtown Miami Charter School reading teacher Magaly Madrid spends every day fostering her students’ compassion for animals. That’s why TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—has named her the 2017 Teacher of the Year.

“Magaly Madrid is TeachKind’s Teacher of the Year for demonstrating how teachers can incorporate humane education into the curriculum every single day,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “She’s teaching her students to see themselves as powerful agents of change, with the ability to make the world a kinder place for all the living beings in it.”

As a grade 3–6 reading teacher, Madrid assigns humane-themed books, such as The One and Only Ivan—a novel about a real-life gorilla named Ivan, who suffered in captivity in a shopping mall—and encourages students to apply lessons about kindness in books like Have You Filled a Bucket Today? to animals.

She also hosts a humane-education club (with vegan snacks for all who attend) for students in grades K–5. Younger students in the club focus on helping homeless dogs and cats through toy and food drives, while older students learn how animals suffer when used and abused for entertainment. In one project, numerous students designed posters and protested Ringling Bros. circus when it appeared in Miami. And after students wrote a letter to local officials expressing their concern that distressed animals were used in a petting zoo at a recent Easter event, officials pledged not to have animal exhibitions at any future events.

TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—will send Madrid a certificate, a TeachKind tote bag, an animal-friendly gift basket, and a Veestro plant-based meal-delivery starter pack.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind