NYC Kids Walk for Elephants

When young people learn the truth about the ways in which animals suffer in captivity, they want to take action—and that’s just what these students did!

 Learn how these first graders put their compassion into action.

First graders at The Magnet School of Global Studies & Leadership in Queens “adopted” an elephant named Minnie at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee rather than fundraising for a local zoo. These kind kids also held a walk-a-thon—in which students, teachers, and community members participated—to raise funds for her care.

They even went on a virtual tour of the sanctuary, during which they learned about Minnie’s past, when she was forced to perform in circuses, and actions that they can take to help elephants who are exploited and abused in captivity.

TeachKind is recognizing these mighty first graders—and their teachers—for setting a compassionate example by supporting a reputable sanctuary.

You can be a hero for animals just by doing simple things: never going to any circus, aquarium, or roadside zoo that exploits animals; spaying or neutering your cats and dogs; always adopting from shelters and never buying an animal from a pet store or breeder; and always reporting abuse and neglect whenever you see it.

Elephants like Minnie, who are forced to perform in circuses, lead miserable lives in which they’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them. While elephants in the wild travel as far as 30 miles a day in close-knit family herds, those held in captivity in circuses, at fairs, or at roadside zoos may be confined to tiny enclosures in near-isolation, which often leads to arthritis and psychological distress.

These heroic young elephant allies are leading their generation in making the world a kinder place.

TeachKind is also sending Resource Specialist Jessica Fileti and first-grade teacher Janice McIntyre Compassionate Teacher Awards for creating this project that encourages students to explore real-world problems through project-based learning.

Share this story with your students and colleagues to inspire them to take action for animals and remind them that you’re never too young to help animals.

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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