A Conversation with Long Beach Animal Welfare Advocate Judy Crumpton of The RedRover Readers Program
There are certain people out there who truly dedicate their time to making a big difference, and our friend Judy is one of those people. She’s a local welfare advocate who is dedicating SO much time and education to the topic of animal welfare here in Long Beach.
We knew immediately we had to sit down with her and chat about what she’s doing so we can help spread the word about the amazing work she does for the animals and animal lovers in our community!
Here’s what she had to say:
PW: Tell us a little about you and how you came to be involved in animal welfare.
JC: I am a local here in Long Beach, a former preschool teacher, former children’s library clerk specializing in preschool story hour, and above all else, a humane educator and advocate. I volunteered years ago at my local animal shelter and that brought me into the world of animal sheltering, animal welfare, and activism. It was there that I discovered humane education.
PW: What is humane education?
JC: Humane education encompasses a number of prosocial issues. For example - animal protection, environmental preservation, and human rights. It’s not a new concept by any means.
I like what the National P.T.A Congress stated in 1933 in support of humane education:
“Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals become more just, kind, and considerate in their relations with each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies, more humane, more law-abiding…in every respect more valuable citizens.
Humane education is teaching in the schools and colleges of the nations the principles of justice, goodwill, and humanity toward all life. The cultivation of the spirit of kindness to animals is but the starting point towards that larger humanity which includes one’s fellow of every race and clime. A generation of people trained in these principles will solve their international difficulties and not as enemies.”
PW: What is RedRover?
JC: RedRover is an animal protection organization based in Sacramento, CA that does incredible work for the critters and their people! They are dedicated to bringing animals from crisis to care through three primary programs: RedRover Relief, RedRoverResponders, and RedRover Readers (You can find out more at this link here).
PW: What is the Red Rover Readers Program? When, where, and to whom will the program be available in Long Beach?
JC: RedRover Readers is the humane education program of the organization, RedRover. It is an innovative, state-aligned, social emotional (SEL) program for elementary level school-age children. Using 20 high-quality, animal-themed children’s books, the program facilitates discussions that promote critical thinking skills and character values such as empathy, compassion, kindness, and respect for all living creatures. The reading presentation is followed by an activity worksheet.
When I learned of the RedRoverReaders program, I felt it was the perfect fit for all youth groups. I introduced the program to the city of Long Beach’s Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department for their after-school and Wrap (Winners Reaching Amazing Potentials) programs. The department agreed to start training staff in early 2021 and plans to bring the curriculum to eight locations to start, with the possibility for expansion in the future. All trainees will be RedRover Readers certified. My goal is to get the RedRover Readers program in every Parks and Recreation Department throughout California. The Crumpton family sponsored the virtual professional training workshops and was happy to do so.
There’s also the popular Kind News magazine filled with engaging stories and easy to follow teaching guides for educators and parents. RedRover donated 500 back issues to the Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department’s after-school program last summer and the kids absolutely loved them!
PW: How do you see this program benefiting the Long Beach community?
JC: I feel that having a humane education program is a win-win for the entire community, especially for children, animals, animal shelters, and rescue and animal welfare organizations. I strongly believe programs such as RedRover Readers have the potential to curtail violent behavior and may pave the way for children to make “kind choices.”
PW: What do you love most about the city of Long Beach?
JC: I feel especially lucky to live in a city like Long Beach - A big city so diverse, yet with a small-town feel. I feel comfortable reaching out to city leaders and department heads with ideas I feel will benefit Long Beach. With humane education on the way, Long Beach will only benefit! I couldn’t agree more with the quote from Bradley Miller, founder of the Humane Farming Association, “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”
PW: How can people get involved or learn more about the RedRover Readers program in Long Beach?
JC: At this time (early 2021), word of mouth and people like Pet Waggin’ Pet Care are the main resources for getting the word out. Hopefully, after the virtual training workshops are completed, the program will be mentioned in some of the Parks, Recreation & Marine class schedules and websites.
People can also visit the RedRover.org website to learn more about how they can get involved.
Wow! What inspiring work well on its way here in Long Beach! To learn more about Judy and her work, please visit RedRover.org.
We’re always looking for ways to get involved, share about our pet-loving community, and more. If you want to nominate someone (even yourself!) to be featured on our blog, shoot us an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org.