2020 is well behind us, but what does that really mean?
There is an argument that a new year is little more than a date in a calendar, a dark lull after Christmas as we wait for Spring to arrive. But we prefer to look at New Years as a nice way to reflect on our past, and plan for the future.
The Dogs Trust Education team strongly feels that the year ahead will be a positive one. There will be challenges undoubtedly, but we’re excited to face them, overcome them and emerge as a stronger educating force.
So…these plans we speak of, do you care for a sneak preview???
In another timeline, we would be launching our secondary school workshop this month. Naturally that won’t be happening while the schools are off, but once they’re back open and we have the green light to start visiting again, we’ll be straight into it.
This is a brand new enterprise for us. Since our inception, we’ve mainly concentrated on primary schools, and have visited thousands of children all over the country. When it came to secondary schools, we didn’t really have room in our schedule, and despite many requests, all we could offer was a tour of our rehoming centre. Perhaps "all we could offer" is the wrong term. A tour of our rehoming centre is an amazing opportunity, and it was an extremely popular amenity, however it was limited. We could only offer these tours on Fridays (and one Tuesday a month), so only five schools a month could avail of it, and as we only have the one rehoming centre, this wasn’t something a school could benefit from if they were outside Dublin.
Last year we decided it was high time we created a unique workshop that was targeted exclusively to secondary school students. We workshoped, and brainstormed, and created our Ethics Workshop. This workshop examines ethical dilemmas that charities like Dogs Trust face on a daily basis, and asks the students to critically evaluate how they feel certain dilemmas should be tackled. This workshop has been trialled and the feedback was very positive. So we are raving to get out there and deliver it.
If you would like us to visit your school, you can contact your local Education and Community Officer at our workshops page.
But….regarding the above, we can’t blast off quite yet, as schools are closed, and it wouldn’t be prudent in the current covid climate regardless. So…lets talk about online learning.
We’ve created multiple online resources that are free to download right now, that you, your class or your family can all enjoy together.
History of Dogs (not to be confused with Dogs of History...but hey, that does sound interesting doesn't it???)
Our first DLW (Downloadable Workshop) is our History of Dogs Workshop. This resource is a reading lesson pitched for 3rd-6th class, though it will appeal to anyone with an interest in dogs. It starts at the very beginning, when cavemen first bonded with wolves, and we span through time from Ancient Egypt, to the Vikings to modern day Inuits.
Maths (If Butch drops this tennis ball, how many balls will Butch want to chase after?)
And if your more of a numbers wizz, then perhaps our maths workshop is for you. This workshop will help you calculate just how much food you should be giving your dog, when taking their weight into consideration. See! Maths is useful in everyday life!
Both of these workshops are available now for Download on our Online Workshop page, but keep an eye on this page. Rumour has it there is a Irish DLW and a Valentines DLW in the works that should be available any day now…
And to the year ahead,
And as for casting an eye on the long term, well, Covid depending, we’ve a few little treats in store for you.
Our Annual Puppy Love event that we hold every Valentines will not be going ahead this year. I don’t think this will be a surprise to anyone, however we do hope that in the second half of the year we’ll be able to host our flagship events; Tea and Tales, Doggy Detectives, Howl-O-Ween and Santa Paws. We also have one other event we hope to launch this year that is brand new.
We won’t tell you its name yet, and we’re not even going to tell you when it is. The one thing we will divulge is that it won’t be in Dublin.
Typically we host 6 events a year in our rehoming centre in Dublin, and they are all fun, and busy and amazing. But they are all in Dublin. Dogs Trust only have the one centre in Ireland, which is in, of course, Dublin. But we have a big presence all over Ireland. Only two of our six Education and Community Officers are actually based in Dublin, and we visit schools in 95% of the country. So we thought it was high time we hosted an event outside the capital. And where might that be you may ask? Why, Cork of course. That’s all the news we’re obliged to say for now, but as we said before dear readers, watch this space.
Piper is pretty psyched about an education event coming to her home county
We do have plenty of other plans for the year ahead-Be Dog Smart Week and The Big Scoop, among others, but we have to keep some things as a surprise.
But before we sign off, we have to tell you just one tiny thing. We have an amazing surprise coming soon-perhaps in March. This is something the team worked on for many months during the autumn and into the winter, and we are biting at the bit to share it with you all. We can’t say much, except that very soon, you’ll all be very familiar with a dog who goes by the name of David Attenbarker!
Who is this mysterious David Attenbarker???
We’ll leave it there-always best to keep them wanting. Happy new year everyone, and please stay safe.