The ABCs of Longmeadow

As school bells rang and classes resumed this fall, a new breed of education was launched from the Humane Society of Missouri’s Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. Students are enjoying a fresh and exciting learning atmosphere in the newly completed Longmeadow Learning Center, part of the capital improvement construction at our ranch in Union, Missouri.

“Our goal is to give children the opportunity to meet the animals, hear their stories, learn how we’re helping them and call them to action to protect them,” says Becky Pemberton, ranch education and animal specialist, who describes the day’s lesson as an event. “Outside they’re seeing the animals up close. In the brand new classroom, they get a hands-on experience with antlers, feathers, teeth and horns.”

A visit to the ranch is as basic as ABC, but the impact can last a lifetime.

A – Animals are the Agenda
The curriculum is written to meet the Missouri Show Me Standards in education, using animals instead of textbooks. For example, a demonstration of the Henneke body scoring system used to assess a horse’s physical condition becomes a lesson in biology. Learning about laws that protect animals becomes a social science class. Following the animal welfare movement dating back to the 19th century becomes a history lesson.

B – Build a Bond with the Animals
Some children from the St. Louis area might never have had contact with horses and farm animals. “Coming face-to-face with these splendid creatures is a unique and memorable experience,” says Sue Gassner, director of education for the Humane Society of Missouri. “The first time a child of any age, especially one who thinks of himself as ‘big,’ looks up at a 2000-pound horse, the world changes.”

C – Children Become Advocates for Animals
Children leave the ranch with a sense of appreciation for the work the Humane Society of Missouri does in providing a safe haven for hundreds of rescued ranch animals. They are touched – hopefully changed – to appreciate the value of all animals that share our world.

Attention teachers: Week-long downloadable curricula for students in grades K-6 that meet national, state and local student performance standards can be found on our website, Please add them to your class and experience the difference humane education makes in your classroom and the lives of your students.

Let’s Create a Class – A Unique Approach to Humane Education

The Humane Society of Missouri has created a new program JUST FOR YOU! Our programs are taught by specially-trained volunteer humane educators who are well informed about animal-related topics and are familiar with age-level learning characteristics.
Download a brochure.

To support the Humane Society of Missouri’s education efforts, call the development department at (314) 951-1542 or donate securely online at