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Humane Education Programs

At the ARLGP, we believe that in teaching our community kids at a young age to be responsible pet owners and advocates, we are ensuring animals will be humanely treated and cared for well into the future.

At our new Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center, Humane Education takes the stage. With our new in-shelter classroom, the ARLGP now provides a full-time curriculum of programming, workshops, and events for youth of all ages.

In-Shelter Programming For Kids

Junior Volunteer Days at the ARLGP

Our new junior volunteer days offer youth the opportunity to experience shelter life hands-on with activities and projects that support every aspect of the facility.

Junior Volunteer Days are offered on specific Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Each session is designed for specific grade levels and meet 9am-noon with a maximum enrollment of 15 volunteers. Volunteer time will include interaction with our adoptable animals and will be led by our on-staff humane educators. Parents do not need to stay with their child during volunteer days.

Cost for participation is $10 per volunteer, per session (snack will be provided).


Grades K-4:
October 12th- 9 spots left
November 23rd- 4 spots left
January 11th- 7 spots left
February 8th- 9 spots left
March 28th- 10 spots left
June 13th- 12 spots left

Grades 5-8:
November 9th- This session is sold out
December 14th- This session is sold out
January 25th- This session is sold out
March 14th- This session is sold out
April 11th- This session is sold out
May 23rd- This session is sold out

High School: May 9th- This date will be from 1-4pm. We will have an option to work with MSSPA from 9am-12pm so high schoolers can earn service hours for graduation/school requirements.

Register now >

After-School Clubs

Do you have a student who is an animal lover, advocate and friend? Our after-school clubs are designed to give students a deeper connection to the animal welfare world, sheltering in our community, responsible pet care and more.

  • After-school clubs are designed for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
  • Each club meets one afternoon a month, October through January (4 total meetings)
  • Our Animal Clubs meet on Tuesdays (4-5:30pm for K-2 and 3-5 meetings, 3:30-5pm for 6-8 and HS)
  • Our Arts & Animals Clubs meet on Thursdays (4-5:30pm for K-2 and 3-5 meetings, 3:30-5pm for 6-8 and HS)
  • Each meeting is an hour and a half, with a maximum amount of 15 students per club.
  • All clubs include time with our adoptable animals.
  • Cost for each 4-month club program is $60 per student.
Our fall 2019 sessions

Animal Club Dates:

  • Pup Club (grades K-2): 10/1, 11/5, 12/3, 1/7 (meets 4-5:30pm)
  • Critter Club (grades 3-5): 10/8, 11/12, 12/10, 1/14 (meets 4-5:30pm)
  • Pet Pals Club (grades 6-8): 10/15, 11/19, 12/17, 1/21 (meets 3:30-5pm)
  • Animal Advocates Club (grades 9-12): 10/22, 10/29, 11/26, 1/28 (meets 3:30-5pm)

Arts & Animals Club Dates:

  • Crafty Critters Club (grades K-2): 110/3, 10/31, 12/5, 1/9 (meets 4-5:30pm)
  • Colorful Cats Club (grades 3-5): 10/10, 11/7, 12/12, 1/16 (meets 4-5:30pm)
  • Painted Pets Club (grades 6-8): 10/17, 11/14, 12/19, 1/23 (meets 3:30-5pm)
  • Advocate Through Art Club (grades 9-12): 10/24, 11/21, 1/2, 1/30 (meets 3:30-5pm)

Register your child now >

Questions about our clubs? Connect with our humane educators at education@arlgp.org or (207) 517-3939

Weekly Storytime for Toddlers

The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland toddler storytime is designed for kids 3-5 to experience the shelter hands-on through picture books, facility exploration, and animal meet-and-greet. Led by our humane education team, storytime is the perfect activity for parents and caregivers of preschool-aged children.

Dates: Fridays during the school year. Our 2019-2020 storytime will begin Friday, October 4th
Time: 9:30-10:30am
Fee: $5 per family, per week (paid each week by cash, or by signing up for monthly auto-charge)

PLEASE NOTE: if Westbrook schools are canceled or off (weather, school vacation, holiday) there is no storytime at the ARLGP.

NEW: auto-charge for storytime attendance! By completing our auto-charge form the ARLGP will charge your debit/credit card $5 per session attended the month before. Charges will occur on the first Thursday of every month.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your birthday in the most fur-tastic way! ARLGP birthday parties include two hours of programming and festivities in our humane education classroom. Learn more and schedule your birthday party today >

Girl Scout Programs

Are you looking to earn your Pets Badge? Or your Daisy Petals? The ARLGP now offers a 2-hour workshop that will include a tour of the shelter as well as hands-on activities to talk about animal needs and animal welfare issues. After this 2 hour workshop, you will have completed all aspects needed to complete your Girl Scout Badge. Learn more about our scout programming.


Unleashed Vacation Camps

The ARLGP offers day camps during the December, February and April school vacation weeks as well as school holidays. Designed for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8, day camps give students an in-shelter experience with age-appropriate programming and activities. Learn more and register for school vacation/holiday camps.

Unleashed Summer Camp

Unleashed Summer Camp is the purr-fect way for your animal lover to spend the summer.

Parents: Sign up to receive e-newsletters and notifications about humane education programming!

For Teachers & Educators

The ARLGP offers free in-class presentations, workshops and lessons to local schools covering a wide variety of animal-related topics. Our certified humane education teacher can also help you incorporate humane lessons into your teaching at any grade level. We can also help students or groups choose service/learning projects and support you through the process.

Download our Humane Education in the Classroom PDF for a full list of lesson topics provided by our educators.

Have questions? Want to schedule an in-class visit? Contact our humane education department at education@arlgp.org or (207) 517-3939.

Teachers: Sign up to receive e-newsletters and notifications about humane education programming!

Shelter Tours

The ARLGP offers shelter tours to school groups, scout groups, daycares, after-school programs and more! Tours are 30 minutes long and cover all areas of the shelter- from the dogs, cats and small animals, to the behind-the-scenes operations that keep the ARLGP running. Children learn what a shelter provides to the community, and how we care for animals in need.

Schedule a shelter tour by contacting our humane education department at education@arlgp.org or (207) 517-3939.

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