KELLY’S KIDS, INC is an innovative program developed for children, youth and adults.
The program is educational in many ways including:
- Learning how to care for another being in a practical way (food, grooming etc.)
- Integrating the natural affinity the targeted population have in animals and using that interest to assist them with social challenges
- Assisting the targeted population to accept differences and appreciate those differences Example: Youth in a group situation with the animals will inevitably bond through their common work)
- Learning about the “Circle of Life” (allowing the targeted population to speak of things that they normally would not talk about (death, sickness, disabilities, etc.) Below is a six week session curriculum example. Sessions will change according to the needs of the group.
The Six Session Program
The program contains six components and the animals are transported to the site. Each visit has a structured curriculum, but informal contact between the participants and the KELLYS KIDS, INC staff is the norm. Each component is divided accordingly:
- Introduction to the farm animals, learning a little bit about each one. They learn what is involved in keeping them happy and healthy. They meet and interact with all of the animals.
- Learning goes a bit deeper, including their eating habits and necessary specific tasks involved in their care. The participants are then matched with their animal, which will be their responsibility for the remainder of the program. They are given time to play with and get to know their animal.
- Participants now learn the specific details of grooming their particular animal partner and spend the day grooming their animal and resolving any questions they may have with the KELLYS KIDS staff
- Participants will learn about “showing” animals. This sets the stage for the program’s finale
- Participants will be in a routine now. They will groom their partner and will learn how to” show” their particular partner and will practice these learned techniques
- Participants will participate is a judged animal show, which pulls together the previous 5 weeks of work. Every partner team is awarded a “Blue Ribbon” and the child receives an award for participation. Also, each child will be presented a picture of themselves with their animal partner.
Presenting this program over 10 years, we have noticed each participate grow and mature in very practical ways, learning the importance of daily routines and the consequences of not following these routines.
On a deeper level, we have observed children and adults reach out emotionally to the animal partners assisting them and loving them unconditionally. Staff can use the opportunity to correlate what is going on with the animal to what is going on in their lives. Children and adults have learned lessons about illness, death, pregnancy and parenting. Children in the child welfare system have learned lessons that help them deal with the loss of their parent(s). Additionally, children who have limited capacity can learn these powerful emotional lessons in a very personal way.
The cost of the program varies depending on location and number of sessions.
Groups We Serve
- After School Programs
- Intergenerational Programs
- Juvenile Justice
- Diversionary Programs
- Recreational Programs
The target population or groups we serve for this program varies depending on the specifics of the group. Programs have been done for young children, teens and elderly. Usually the program is done within similar age groups. Primarily the program identifies youth who would benefit from a hands on experience with 10 to 15 youth participating at a time.
Our clients could be from town and state agencies throughout the state such as Schools, Parent Teacher Organizations, Family Service Agencies, the CT Youth Service Bureau, CT After School Network.org, Family Resource Network, Afterschool Alliance, Homes for the Elderly as well as private parties.
A Diversionary Program that is an alternative to support local Juvenile Justice Reform that compliments support for at risk youth. Our program models the restorative justice principals of the Juvenile Review Board to referred clients.
An Intergenerational Program for children and elderly that helps to instill positive values and to bring different generations and cultures together.
Age appropriate pre and post tests will be administered utilizing the framework of the 40 Developmental Assets® with a goal of increasing the participant’s behaviors that will enable them to develop into successful and contributing members of their communities and society. Program records show 90% participation during the 6 components.