News

Compassionate California 5th Grader Recognized as Humane Student of the Year

Animalearn is pleased to announce that its 2015 Humane Student of the Year Award recipient is Olivia Katz, a compassionate 10 year-old student from San Diego, California who has worked tirelessly to end dissections in her elementary school. Olivia was selected because of her dedication and advocacy on behalf of animals used for dissection.

"I am so excited to be selected as Animalearn's Humane Student of the Year! Receiving this award makes me realize that there are a lot of other people like me, who understand that just because we are humans, we don't have the right to cut up animals. I will continue to spread the word that dissecting animals is wrong and that there are better alternatives that can be used." stated Olivia.

Determined to be a voice for animals used in education, Olivia, along with support and guidance from her parents, drafted a letter to her school principal, the teachers of her elementary school, and the parent teacher organization explaining that she did not want to dissect, giving numerous reasons why neither she nor any of her fellow young classmates should dissect animals. She ended her letter stating, "I'm sure many other schools dissect animals, but that doesn't mean our school has to. I really like Holmes Elementary and I think other students should stand up for what they think is right." Along with her letter, Olivia included Animalearn resources as supportive materials. Due to Olivia's activism, Holmes Elementary School stopped their sheep heart dissection this year. Although first and fourth graders have the option to do fish dissection at a local aquarium, Olivia is trying to eliminate that as well.

"It gives me great pleasure to recognize such a courageous and passionate young student like Olivia Katz as our Humane Student of the Year," said Nicole Green Director of Animalearn. "Her dedication to making a difference for animals used in education is truly noteworthy and gives me hope for future generations."

As part of her Award, Olivia will receive $1,000 worth of high quality dissection alternatives from Animalearn. Holmes Elementary will have the opportunity to utilize these cutting edge alternatives rather than using animals for dissection purposes.

Download the PDF press release here.