Put on your red cape and be a superhero
for animals and kids!

APNM launches online fundraising campaign on the new charitable causes website Redcapes.com!

Rico puts on his red cape to help save the world by connecting children and animals and teaching compassion in the schools. Now it's your turn. Go to www.redcapes.com and contribute to The Animal Connection Project found in the project category 'Animals.'

APNM has launched a crowd-funding effort on the new charitable giving website, Redcapes.com. On this superhero-themed site, people from all over the world can select a charitable project that interests them and make an online contribution to support it.

The fun, colorful look and feel to the website certainly lends itself to projects involving youth, so APNM posted a $4,000 campaign goal with a 60-day limit to help fund its humane education program, The Animal Connection.

Teachers and schools have enthusiastically received the program since its launch in Valencia County in 2010. Now, there are currently more requests for the program than APNM has the resources to deliver. Therefore, we are actively seeking outside financial support for the program through foundation grants, private individual gifts and this online effort. If we reach our Redcapes campaign goal, we can offer the program to sixty more New Mexico students!

Here’s how YOU can be a superhero:

  • Go to Redcapes.com and find our project under the “Animals” section;
  • Make a donation to The Animal Connection at Redcapes.com and help us reach our goal to bring humane education and an ethic of kindness to animals to 60 more students next school semester!



What is the Animal Connection?

It’s been a busy year for APNM’s Educational Outreach Director, Sherry Mangold, and her teaching partner Cindy Wacek. This year the team, which includes registered therapy dogs Buster, Rico, Sophie, Brandy, Xenna and Bogie, have taken on a record number of classrooms to deliver the APNM humane education program, The Animal Connection. The program (formerly Open Hearts = Open Minds) has become increasingly popular for its valuable lessons in animal welfare, its ability to build compassion for animals among its youth participants, and for its success in enhancing academic performance.

The program for grades 3 through 8 is now a twelve-week offering, and features a new curricular video module,“Down on the Farm” which highlights the lives and care procedures for a variety of large farm animals. The lesson was filmed on location at a private sanctuary in northern New Mexico.

In animal and social welfare circles we often talk about the well-recognized concept known as ‘The Link.’ The Link is the well-established research correlation between animal abuse and various forms of human violence. For example, several infamous violent criminals such as the Columbine High School massacre’s young perpetrators, the Boston Strangler and the Wisconsin serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer, all had a history of grisly and unthinkable animal abuse. The Animal Connection, however, works on the premise that the Link works both ways: when children are taught caring and compassion for animals, it is more likely that their interpersonal relationships will improve through a heightened sense of empathy. To learn more watch APNM’s short video about how the Connection works.

The Animal Connection also offers a grade-appropriate, four-week version for Pre-K through 2nd grade students. In one of the sessions, students are motivated to read through the “Read to Rico” component. The international greyhound rescue and advocacy group Grey2K USA provides APNM students with a free copy of the children’s book Pele's Forever Home, by author Darylynn Ayala, about a rescued greyhound (like Rico) who is adopted by a loving family. Students improve their reading skills and learn about kindness to animals while sharing a special moment with Rico.

Thanks to the support of some local Santa Fe donors, The Animal Connection is now running at Tesuque Elementary School. With further support, APNM will expand the program within the Santa Fe Public Schools during the 2014-2015 school year, as well as fulfill requests for the program throughout Albuquerque and Los Lunas.


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