New York, N.Y.— The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has provided a $12,500 grant to Unleashed—a non-profit group that builds confidence and purpose in young girls—to launch after-school programs in middle schools across New York City that aim to empower girls by advocating for animal welfare. The programs launched last week at MS7, Urban Assembly and the Lab School.
The girls in the after-school programs will learn leadership skills and the necessary tools to become animal advocates in their communities. They will learn about different animal cruelty issues and what can be done to solve such complex social issues, including animal homelessness, dog fighting and puppy mills.
Each individual participating in the program will assist with an Unleashed animal rescue, helping with intake of the animals, behavior assessments and recruiting foster families and adopters. The girls are also tasked with creating a “social justice carnival” to engage the public in making a difference through various activities such as making dog bowls and toys for a local animal shelter.
“The ASPCA is proud to help Unleashed empower New York City youth by giving them the tools to impact the lives of animals,” said Justine Dang, ASPCA grants officer. “We hope this program will build future generations of animal advocates by providing animal cruelty education at a young age.”
After-school programs are slated to launch at more schools this fall, including the Clinton School for Writers and Artists and Nightingale-Bamford. The after-school program will also be offered for foster children at Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families in Brooklyn.
“Adolescence is the ideal time for girls to develop the critical tools needed to be a brave, powerful female,” said Stacey Radin, Unleashed CEO. “Planting the seeds during this formative stage—as they experiment and define who they are and who they want to be—establishing templates for leadership, civic engagement, communication, and positive interpersonal relationships will ultimately affect their futures.”