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Our Mission

To develop a generation of compassionate youth who create positive change for animals, people, and the natural world.

Our Mission

To develop a generation of compassionate youth who create positive change for animals, people, and the natural world.

HEART is the pre-eminent humane education nonprofit in the United States innovating and teaching compassion-based curricula to create a more just and sustainable world. Founded in 2001, HEART is committed to ensuring that every classroom includes instruction about animal protection, social justice, and environmental ethics.  >> Learn more about HEART's work

Excellence in Humane Education Award

Catalyzing Humane Education

Enrich Learning

HEART seeks to infuse humane education into the educational experience of K-12 youth—in school curricula and after-school programs, in youth groups, in the community, and at home. We provide teachers with humane education lessons and activities that support core learning standards across a range of academic subjects and integrate with learning frameworks, such as Social and Emotional Learning.  

Through workshops, webinars, and videos, HEART has trained hundreds of teachers nationwide to deliver education programs that effectively foster compassion in classroom and community settings.

Transformative Projects

We catalyze humane education through transformative projects like our Compassionate Communities Awards program, which take a district-wide approach to integrating humane education in schools. Through the HEART Network, we help build the capacity of animal protection organizations nationwide to develop and expand their own humane education initiatives.   

We advocate for humane education, raising awareness in the educational and governmental sectors, and increase compliance with existing state laws related to humane and character education for grades K-12.  

Results Matter

We are committed to monitoring the impact of HEART projects and resources, and periodically conduct in-depth evaluations developed and implemented by outside assessment experts. These assessments demonstrated positive impact on the youth we serve:

"HEART does what it sets out to do - and more. It not only teaches upper elementary students about humane education issues and positively affects their attitudes... but also positively affects how they treat other people."

- External Program Evaluation, 2016

Our Award-Winning Humane Education Resources and Programs

  • Create engaged students who are respectful and compassionate citizens of the greater community.
  • Foster a sense of responsibility for children to act upon their personal beliefs.
  • Cultivate empathy for animals and, as a result, decrease animal abuse in our society.
  • Offer effective ways to reduce and prevent violence in school and at home.

Our Approach

Animal Connections

Children’s natural love for and fascination with animals are often some of their earliest and most formative experiences of true empathy for others. HEART’s approach to humane education takes advantage of these experiences to help children develop compassion toward not only animals, but also people and the environment. We focus on the interconnections between all living beings and the natural world, and address the root causes of harm. Schools and the communities they serve benefit as students gain greater awareness of their ability to help others and translate that ability into direct action.

Social and Emotional Learning

We provide resources and training that demonstrate how meaningful connections to various animal issues enhance SEL educational content and expand the impact of students’ direct actions in both their local and wider communities. These offerings also empower students to effectively communicate, listen, debate, self-regulate, and tackle their own biases and assumptions.

Developing Compassion and Empathy

Our humane education lessons help children develop an empathetic and compassionate approach to understanding and communicating with others – an essential skill in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world. We want to help students think critically about the impact of their actions so they make just and humane choices.

What Teachers Are Saying...

HEART exposes kids to issues that they may not have been aware of. What I like best is that it causes them to THINK.

- Bernadine Hoffman
Fourth Grade Teacher

HEART has helped prepare our students to be compassionate members of our community, and has made them realize their role as citizens of the world. We believe that these life lessons will stay with them as they grow into adults.

- Diane Tratner
Assistant Principal,  New York City

This program not only makes a difference in our students, but it also makes an impact in our community. Thank you for the gift of the HEART program in our school.

- Nilda J. Rivera
Elementary School Principal

Strategic Partnerships

In order to reach as many children as possible, HEART has taken on a variety of special projects, sometimes alone and sometimes in partnership with other organizations. Each project brings humane education to a different population of students, helping to create a more compassionate world through education.

Transformative Learning Alliance

Head Start

Peace Learning Center

New York Department of Education

Humane Education PSAs 

American Bar Association

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