Bring your school or class to the Sanctuary, or let us bring the Sanctuary to you!
We offer programs for school-age children at the Sanctuary, as well as programs at your school or other location. All are led by our highly trained educators who help participants understand and connect with animals in a new way, think critically about today’s key issues such as climate change and public health, and explore values like compassion and justice.
At the end of the program, your students will have new ideas about how they can make change!
All ages are welcome — and program content, media and activities are adapted to different ages and grades to ensure that all participants have an engaging and empowering experience.
Plus, our programs support educational standards!
- New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law – EDN § 809. Instruction in the humane treatment of animals
- New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law – EDN § 810. Conservation day
- Next Generation ELA Standards
- Science Learning Standards
- Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and
- Family and Consumer Sciences at Three Levels
- Social Studies Framework
Bring Your School or Class to the Sanctuary
We offer children of all ages the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with farmed animals — from the smallest chickens to the biggest cows. We’ll guide your school or class across the Sanctuary grounds to meet the residents, hear their stories of rescue and healing, consider the realities of life for farmed animals in modern agriculture, and explore ways that we can all make a difference for animals and the earth.
Tours are available all year long, and last approximately 90 minutes.
For information about prices, visiting policies and more, read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Or, if you’re ready, sign up your school today!
Host the Sanctuary at Your School
Can’t make it to the Sanctuary, or want to dive deeper after your Sanctuary visit? No problem! We offer a variety of targeted youth outreach programs, connected to the Sanctuary values of kindness, compassion and justice for all beings.
We’ll host an engaging, interactive presentation that focuses on asking and answering questions that explore the myriad issues related to animal agriculture. By the end of the program, your students will have greatly expanded their knowledge of animals, practiced critical thinking, and learned several ways to help animals in their own lives.
Information is presented through group discussions, primary and secondary sources, up-to-date scientific research, and — of course — plenty of photos and videos, including those featuring the Sanctuary’s very own rescued residents.
(Note: To visit locations greater than 30 minutes from the Sanctuary, we will ask you to cover mileage and tolls; however, if you are unable to do so, we’ll work with you to find a solution.)
Our School Outreach Programs
Why Sanctuaries Rescue Animals: Grades 1-12
Explore the whats, whys and hows of animal sanctuaries through the Catskill Animal Sanctuary mission and history. See what it takes to keep 300+ animals happy and healthy every day of the year, and why we focus on rescuing pigs, cows, chickens and other farmed animals.
Grades 9 and up will also explore the variety of careers involved in keeping a sanctuary running smoothly.
Natural History of Farmed Animals: Pre-K to Grade 12
What actually goes on inside a cow, pig or chicken? Learn how their bodies work and compare them to our human body. Plus, consider their intellectual and emotional lives — what really is going on in their heads?
Grades 6 and up will also examine the effects of artificial selection on domesticated animals and compare modern farm chickens and cows to wild ones.
Animal Agriculture Today: Grades 4-12
Animal agriculture today is very different from the image that children often receive of Old MacDonald and his farm. Explore how animals are raised for meat, eggs and milk by comparing industry marketing to real conditions — and discover options that are healthier for personal and public health, and the environment.
Our Choices and the Environment: Grades 4-12
How does your diet affect water use, land use, the cleanliness of water and air, and the global climate? Through a Family Feud-style game, explore the sources of different environmental problems, and how we can easily reduce our water, land and carbon footprints. You’ll be shocked to learn the impact of a bacon and egg breakfast or a cheeseburger for dinner
Your Health, Our Health: Grades 4-12
We know that our diet affects our own health, but did you know that it affects the health of people you’ll never meet? Learn how we can keep ourselves healthy, while also exploring the effects of air and water pollution on people who live and work around farms, by hearing the voices of that community.
Grades 6 and up will also consider the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and how antibiotic use on farms threatens human health.
Labor Rights in Agriculture: Grades 5-12
Caring about the health, safety and happiness of all beings includes other humans, as well. Explore how foods like tomatoes, chocolate, seafood and bacon affect the lives of workers and local communities, and hear how people have stood up for their rights against slavery, cruel working conditions and toxic air and water — in their own words.
Custom Programming: All Grades
We’re happy to adjust our content based on your specific needs. Simply contact Lauren, Youth Programs Manager, and she’ll work with you to modify one of the programs listed above!
For more information about travel fees, group sizes, scheduling, program content and more, read the Sign Up Your School section of our Frequently Asked Questions.
Or, if you’re ready to learn how it works in person, sign your school up today!