Club of compassion

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jane Price, with “Wakon,” and Pearl Beamor of Sacred Friends Inc. make a presentation during the first meeting of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Animal Lovers Club Wednesday.

Jane Price, with “Wakon,” and Pearl Beamor of Sacred Friends Inc. make a presentation during the first meeting of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Animal Lovers Club Wednesday.

A new club at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy that is intended to promote compassion for animals had its inaugural meeting this week.

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Animal Lovers Club has been formed as a partnership between the school and the Suffolk Humane Society.

“We are thrilled to promote Suffolk Humane’s mission through this group of caring youngsters, and we hope that we can extend this program to other schools,” said Ginger Owen, Suffolk Humane board member and Humane Education Committee member.

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The club will not only educate its young members, she said, but hopefully also will reach into “the entire school community.”

“The programs and projects of the club will culminate into the members’ participation at Mutt Strut, their farewell-for-the-summer project,” Owen said.

Wednesday’s first meeting of the club included a visit by two members of wildlife rescue group Sacred Friends Inc.

As Jane Price stood with red-tailed hawk “Wakon” perched quietly on her arm, Pearl Beamer told the club’s lower school members what to do if they come across an injured animal in the wild — among various other things.

Suffolk Humane will support the club by sourcing speakers and devising appropriate craft activities, Owen said.

Club members Wednesday spent 10 minutes creating posters on ways to improve the local environment for the welfare of its animal inhabitants.

“The idea is to teach these young people about the care of animals, and how to help animals that are in trouble,” Owen said.

“We hope to spread it throughout the school community, as well as their homes.”

It’s Suffolk Humane’s first such school partnership, she said, and the hope is to expand the concept into public schools.

Jean Mauck, NSA’s assistant head of lower school and the club coordinator, said club members would volunteer at Suffolk Humane’s next Mutt Strut.

“We may even be invited to attend one of the meetings … to talk about what we are doing with our club,” she told the children.

Club members will also collect pet food and other supplies for Suffolk Humane, she said, adding, “Your job as club members will be to help make all that happen.

“Suffolk Humane Society does a lot of good things for the animals and, we need to help them all we can.”

Also during the club’s first meeting, students were asked to become junior members of Sacred Friends Inc.