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One of the best ways to educate students about animal issues and inspire them to get involved is to start a school club in which you can discuss animal rights issues, educate other students and teachers about animal rights, and take action to help animals. Here's how to get a group started:
At most schools, you'll be required to meet certain guidelines in order to be officially recognized as a school organization. Read your school's policy manual or meet with the student activities office to familiarize yourself with your school's policies and procedures regarding student groups. Your school will probably require you to name a faculty adviser (you!) and write a constitution.
Becoming an officially recognized campus group gives you many advantages: You'll be given a campus mailbox and access to fax machines, copiers, and other office supplies. You'll also receive access to school facilities such as meeting rooms, and you might be eligible for school funding. Ask your school if your club can be given access to a library case or hallway bulletin board that it can decorate and post information on.
Come up with a name for your group and create some buzz at your school. One of the best ways to do this is to hang fliers all over campus that advertise your new group. Also, try submitting a letter to the editor of your school paper introducing your new student organization.
Most importantly, talk, talk, talk! Tell everyone you know about your new group, and tell them to tell everyone they know about it! Approach like-minded groups at your school (e.g., environmental, human rights, and social justice groups) and ask them to host events with you to get the word out. Once you have people interested, you can start to organize.
What Should the Group Do?
The most common mistake that groups make is trying to tackle everything at once—which ensures that nothing will get done. In elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, clubs are often required to meet once a week after school. Set up a time for your club to meet, and let members know about it.
If you do want to sponsor an animal rights club for students at your school, we encourage you to sign up for our Animal Rights Club Mailing List. This mailing list is for teachers who want to start a club but aren't quite sure where to begin.
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You and your students can help support PETA's efforts to provide lonely "backyard dogs" with doghouses by participating in TeachKind's "Change for Chained Dogs" fundraiser. We've got everything you need to get started—so order your FREE action pack today!