Wayside Waifs

Humane Education

Learn more about our No More Bullies Program

Each year thousands of students receive a wide variety of quality programming delivered by Humane Educators and their companion animals! These programs are given in the greater Kansas City area for preschools, public and private elementary schools and a variety of community organizations. 

All Humane Education Programs are offered free of charge; supported by private grants and donations. Any donations, monetary or in-kind, your organization might like to contribute to Wayside Waifs are welcome and appreciated. 

On-site programs are scheduled primarily Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. To schedule a presentation or tour for your school or organization, please contact Amanda Smasal, Community Involvement Coordinator at 816-986-4422 or asmasal@waysidewaifs.org. If you prefer, you may fill out the Request a Humane Educator Form online.

"No More Bullying!"


Off-site | Grades: 3-5 | 5 Lessons-1 hour per lesson | Companion animal attends classes

People who are abused by people often abuse animals. People who abuse animals often also abuse other people. And so the cycle goes. Hurt people hurt animals and people. The connection between all forms of violence has been extensively studied and researched. One of the findings: the majority of students who committed school shootings have a history that includes animal cruelty and animal violence.

Wayside Waifs directly addresses this fact by implementing the primary prevention program "No More Bullying!" This violence prevention curriculum is the cornerstone of the Humane Education program. Students learn how to gain Self-Respect and Respect from others by learning about and practicing the following core character traits: Responsibility, Compassion, Self-Control and Integrity. Studies prove that developing these principles in young people through the humane treatment of animals leads them to have greater empathy for human beings. 

PAW-etiquette for Pooches & People: Dog Safety 


Off-site or On-site | Grades: Kindergarten - 5 | 1 hour | Companion animal attends class

Students learn the proper way to greet a dog, when to leave a dog alone and strategies to avoid being attacked by a dog. This lesson helps students understand that dogs communicate through body language and how to read that body language. 

Res-PAW-nsibility: Being a Responsible Pet Owner


Off-site or On-site | Grades: Kindergarten - 3 | 1 hour | Companion animal attends class

Animals are cute and cuddly, especially when they are small, but having a pet takes a lot of responsibility. Students will learn the many components that are required to properly care for a pet.

Pet Purr-paredness: Emergency Planning for Pets


Off-site or On-site | Grades: 3-6 | 1 hour | Companion animal attends class

Do you have a plan to protect and safely evacuate your pets when a natural disaster occurs? Many people refuse to evacuate during a natural disaster because they don't want to leave their pets behind. In this lesson, students will discuss the necessary preparation for their pet's welfare and the planning required to properly evacuate their pet if a natural disaster occurs. Students will receive a comprehensive pet emergency evacuation checklist and a pet identification card. 

Once U-PAW-n A Time: Reading for Pets & People


Off-site or On-site | Grades: Kindergarten - 6  and Adults| 1 hour | Companion animal attends class

This program consists of several reading options:

  • As students practice reading to a friendly, non-judgmental companion animal, their confidence soars eventually leading them to read in front of peers with ease. Teacher can decide to have regularly scheduled times with individual students or small groups of students.
  • A soothing voice of a Humane Educator reads a story while residents at nursing homes, mental health facilities or other adult care communities enjoy the interaction with a friendly companion animal.
  • Create a reading experience involving a companion animal that best suits your needs.  

Raising and Training a Service Dog


Off-site or On-site | Grades: 3 - 6 and Adults | 1 hour | Companion Animal attends class

Everyone is familiar with the saying, "A dog is a person's best friend." The reponsibilities of a service dog take that saying to a whole new level! People with disabilities depend upon a service dog to help them with everyday tasks and daily activities. In this session, the complex process and various stages of raising and training a service dog are explained.  



On-site | Grades: Kindergarten - 5 | 1 hour | Maximum Group: 15

Each participating group will complete a community service project directly affecting the quality of life and well-being of the animals staying at Wayside Waifs. Projects may vary depending on shelter needs and will not include direct contact with the animals. Projects might include: making dog and cat toys, organizing the food pantry or folding and sorting the laundry.

Educational Tours


On-site | Grades: Kindergarten - 12 | 1 hour | Maximum Group: 20

Groups will experience a comprehensive tour of Wayside Waifs' campus. Along the way students will learn about Wayside's animal intake process and how Wayside cares for animals that need extra attention. Students will also see Wayside's state-of-the-art Veterinary Clinic and Pet Adoption Center and have the opportunity to see Wayside's 5-acre Bark Park and Memorial Grounds. The tour will include visiting adoptable pets.  

Interested in volunteering as a Humane Educator in one of these programs?

If you are an adult group interested in a tour, please contact us to schedule.