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Education in Schools

Building a better future

Through a variety of school-based programs and community outreach, our team of humane educators reaches people all over southern Arizona. We have children’s programs for kids as young as third grade. Our school-based programs bring humane education right into the classroom, providing interactive lessons on a variety of topics, including the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s mission and services, basic pet care, animal cruelty prevention and animal-related careers.


Classroom Education for Your Students

Build the education program that’s best for your classroom by choosing from our large selection of elementary and middle and high school presentations.

Age group is the first thing to take into consideration. We want to make sure the curriculum is appropriate and understandable by all students. The "HSSA Overview" is a required program. After that, select up to 5 additional presentations of your choice – each lasts about one hour.

In-school education programs are offered during the regular school year (through April) on weekdays. We do not accept requests for May, June or July because of scheduled summer programs.

How to Apply for Our Free Education Program

Once you’ve selected the programs, complete our online Education Request Form so we can assess your needs and schedule your program. All requests for outreach programs MUST BEGIN with this application. Please DO NOT call to request outreach.

Every year, HSSA’s Education Department provides programs and presentations to thousands of children. The vast majority of these programs, including all our school-based outreach, are free but do require a high level of commitment and organization from the participants.

This application process helps us assess which schools or organizations are best suited for our intensive programs. The application process takes about five minutes to complete. You will be contacted within the next few days as to the status of your application. Please be aware that we may not be able to accommodate all requests due to staff, time and resource limitations.

Click Here to download our Elementary School Education program info sheet.

Click Here to download our Middle and High School Education program info sheet.

children making crafts

Making a difference now Community Service Programs

As part of our education program for school-age kids, we strongly encourage completion of a community service project to make a difference now for the pets in our care.

There are endless ideas for a project – limited only by the kids’ imaginations! You are invited to create your own benefit to help the Humane Society’s pets whether you sign up for our regular outreach classes or not. Need some help getting started? Some ideas for projects are listed below.

Elements of the Community Service Program:

  • A visual presentation on how to conduct a successful community service project

  • HSSA Community Service Projects handouts

  • A Humane Society campus tour

  • A recognition ceremony for all participating students

Community Service Ideas:

  • Hold a food and materials drive. Shelters constantly run short of supplies. Check out our Wish List to find out what we need the most.

  • Hold a bake sale. Create tasty goodies for people and animals and sell them to help our homeless pets! We can even help you out with some tasty treat recipes.

  • Hold a “Kindness Crusade.” This fun in-school game is played by pitting different classes against each other to collect pennies for anti-cruelty and prevention efforts. The class with the most pennies wins the “Kindness Crusade” and receives a special certificate.

  • Hold an animal or environmental fair. Using the information you receive during your Humane Society presentations, create your own animal fair. Design activities and games. Invite the whole school, parents and family members. Donate the money from your fair to help HSSA pets.

  • Create your own program. Whether it’s a car wash, a pickle sale or a towel drive, kids can be very creative when it comes to helping pets at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona!

puppy with wet fur being held by rubber gloved hands outside

Visit us Touring HSSA Main Campus

If you’re doing a Community Service project and would like a tour as part of your program, please call the Education Department to set up a time. Our programs are popular, so we can’t guarantee a tour if you have not called ahead – our schedule can book up well in advance. Tours are offered Monday-Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  We do not offer tours on weekends or major holidays when the facility is closed.

Tour Requirements:

  • Tours are offered for children who are in at least third grade. Because of safety concerns, we can offer a Pet VIP visit for younger children.

  • Children in grades three through five must complete a bite prevention program before a tour. The bite prevention program is free but must be scheduled separately from your tour and held at your site.

  • Campus tours are not intended to be petting zoo-type experiences. As part of our larger humane education program, tours are designed to give kids an understanding of the daily challenges faced by animal welfare workers. Coordinators are encouraged to discuss animal welfare and prepare their children for the possibility of seeing ill or injured animals.

  • If we are unable to provide a tour to your group we can set up a time for a Pet VIP visitation to your site.

  • Please contact the Education Department at 520-321-3704, ext. 142, for help organizing your community service project. We have free kits to help!

If you have any questions regarding creating your own Community Service program, contact Inge Koopman-Leyva at

Where are the HSSA Classrooms?

If you are visiting HSSA's Education Department, you will want to go to the coral Education building.

Location Map - Main Campus Locations - Education