In 2012 a 17-year-old boy in West Sacramento took a can of lighter fluid, dumped it on a cat, and lit the cat on fire. When people in the nearby park saw the ball of fire moving across the grass, they had no idea that there was an animal in pain under all those flames.
The cat was rescued by a non-profit organization headquartered in Sacramento, California called RedRover. Sadly this did not have a good ending for the poor cat who had to be put down as the extent of the burns was too great. The child was caught, and later when the police asked him why he did it, his response was “I just wasn’t thinking”.
I hate sharing such a horrendous story, but it was the moment that made Nicole Forsyth, CEO of RedRover decide that the only way to prevent animal cruelty, was to stop it before it ever happened, and to do that – they had to teach children empathy for animals. The RedRover Readers program was born, and has since trained hundreds of teachers and educated thousands of students in classrooms across the country through stories and games to have compassion for animals.
This past May RedRover launched an innovative app that is designed to help kids ages 7-11 practice empathy skills. The Restricted Adventures of Raja includes an interactive graphic novel e-book and a game, both with English and Spanish language options.
The app uses curriculum from the highly successful RedRover Readers program. Parents and educators can use questions woven into the story to help kids identify the behaviors and emotions of animal and human characters and imagine how the characters are feeling, skills necessary for empathy. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
I hope you check the app out and share this post so that we can help RedRover reach as many people as possible. Thank you for your support.