Education Programs

I offer over 30 programs suitable for schools, libraries and other venues, on a variety of animal related and humane themed topics.

“It was fantastic having you come visit our PRISM Afterschool Program with Foxy. The kids liked her and all her kisses. I really appreciated how your presentation was relaxed, informal and lighthearted. It was enjoyable and just right to keep their attention and engage them in an important topic.” ~ Caroline H., Birchwood Elementary

“Thanks for an interesting and informative Careers presentation you gave the students today. The joy was all ours; you were excellent.” – Beverly V., School One

These programs generally include a Power Point, handouts, related crafts or activities, and opportunity for questions and discussion.Programs for younger students include reading a story, stuffed animals, and the opportunity to interact with a small, sweet animal (often my tiny therapy morkie, Bailey). Programs can be combined or tailored.

Please contact Lorna Steele at to find out more, schedule a date, and discuss your specific requirements.

The following are programs I have personally designed and can offer:

For younger kids, this is a light-hearted look at what animals (both domestic and wild) do when it rains.

For younger kids, this is a light-hearted look at what animals (both domestic and wild) do when it rains. We talk about gentleness, care, and cuddling.

This program is an overview of the kids of things we need to provide our pets, and fosters empathy and consideration. This is designed for younger students, and runs about 1/2 an hour. The program includes a visit with my 4 pound morkie, Bailey, a gentle little therapy dog. We also have activities and age-appropriate crafts.

Caring for Cats

This program is an overview of cats, their origins, their special adaptations, their care needs, and a little bit of cat body language. Presentation is about 1/2 hour including questions, then followed by cat handouts and crafts. Designed for older elementary students, but can be tailored for younger or older kids.

Chilling with Chinchillas

Students learn where chinchillas came from, their complex needs as pets, and how to care for them. Program is 1/2 hour including questions, followed by meeting my chinchilla Miranda. Miranda is a Black Velvet Chinchilla and is best experienced in small groups and not in a classroom setting.

Caring for Dogs

Students get to learn about dog history, dog physiological adaptations, their care, and how to interpret some basic dog body language and signals. This program runs about 40 minutes with questions, and can be followed with handouts and dog related crafts. My 4 pound morkie, Bailey, an adorable therapy dog, can accompany this program.

Bite Prevention

A great introduction for kids to understand how dog bites happen so easily if we don’t pay attention to signals and body language from dogs who are trying to tell us that they feel unsure. Students will learn proper dog greeting behavior and what to do if they encounter strange dogs who might be aggressive. Students will role-play techniques with a large stuffed dog. About 1/2 hour from start to finish.

Dogs 101

This program runs close to 3 hours and was originally designed to meet the boy scout dog care badge requirements. This is a thorough overview of dog origins, physiology, diseases, behavior, etc. There are periodic bathroom breaks.

Birds as Pets

Students will learn about the basic care of pet birds, health problems the birds can face, and the solutions, as well as an overview of the dozen or so more popular breeds of birds.

Fun of Ferrets

Although not accompanied by a live ferret, this program introduces kids to the quirks and care needs of ferrets. About 1/2 hour to 40 minutes including questions. Can be followed with ferret handouts and fun activities.

Guinea Pigs

This is a brief overview of guinea pigs and their care needs, which lasts about 20 minutes, and can then be followed with guinea pig handouts and fun crafts. My guinea pig Peaches usually accompanies the program.

Hedgehogs 101

Students will learn about this exotic pet, the unique characteristics of hedgehogs, and their care. They can meet O’Malley the hedgehog, who isn’t terribly social but will poke his head out for meal worms. The presentation is about 20 minutes or more (depending on the complexity you desire, and the age of your audience), and can then be followed with handouts, crafts, and meeting the little guy himself.

Getting to Know Rabbits

This program can be tailored according to the age of the kids. From a simple slide show about different kinds of cute bunnies aimed for the pre-K crowd to a more complex presentation about the specific needs and health concerns of rabbits. For small children, the program is about five minutes of slides, followed by a storybook and a soft stuffed animal, and for older kids, the program can include handouts, craft activities, and if available, a bunny visitor.


A brief introduction to dwarf rats and their care needs, accompanied by pictures of utter cuteness. Appropriate for younger kids. While I can’t bring a live rat, we can bring a little stuffed one and a great storybook.

Sugar Gliders 101

This is a more complex program appropriate for older kids. The sugar glider is a complicated little creature with very special needs and care requirements. Figure on about 50 minutes total with questions, handouts, and activities.

Fighting Cruelty In Our Neighborhoods gives high school level students an overview of the kinds of cruelty we have here in Rhode Island, and an opportunity to discuss what it means from an ethical and social responsibility standpoint.

Fighting Cruelty In Our Neighborhoods gives high school level students an overview of the kinds of cruelty we have here in Rhode Island, and an opportunity to discuss what it means from an ethical and social responsibility standpoint.

pet overpopulation

Ideally suited to older elementary students, or middle-schoolers, this program focuses on some of the realities of this country’s huge pet overpopulation and homelessness crisis, and some things they can do to help. This is short enough to accompany another program, for example the ones on cat care or dog care. It can also be tailored to include more math standards, and be used as a springboard for figuring out how some of these numbers stack up. We can teach them about the need to spay and neuter by playing an overpopulation game with hand-drawn “house plans” and a myriad of little animal figures, which really drives home the why animal numbers can rise so easily. We also have a marvelous shelter matching game that kids can interactively play.

Animals Reading Week

A fun romp through the many animal related kids’ books out there, accompanied by pictures of animals perusing books. This is perfect for Reading Week, and can be tailored to be more focused on reading aloud a funny and memorable animal book. This program is usually accompanied by Peaches the guinea pig, or Bailey, my sweet 4 pound morkie.

Participants learn about and discuss the differences between traditional farming practices, and modern factory farming practices, and the humane issues of animal treatment. The presentation does include some pictures of factory farming, so this program is best suited for highschoolers and adults. Accompanied by a myriad of handouts and pamphlets on alternatives, vegetarian and vegan organizations, etc., this program is ideal for a library or community center offering and can be augmented by a question and answer panel of some vegan and vegetarian practitioners in Rhode Island.

Rainbow Bridge

This brief program is designed for people who are facing the passing of a beloved pet. What to expect in the process, and ways to cope. This is a suggested program for a library or community center, for older teens and adults. Including questions and discussion, plan on about one hour for this. Resources are provided.


For people considering training and registering a pet for Animal Assisted Activities or Therapy, this program provides an overview of the process, the expectations in a hospital or other setting, and the many psychological and physiological benefits of animal and human companionship and interaction. This can also be tailored for nursing homes considering the addition of a facility pet, or the allowance of a visiting therapy animal. About one hour.

Foster Kitten

Participants will learn about the care of pregnant and nursing cats, medical issues that nursing queens may face, stages of kitten development, bottle-feeding, socializing, etc. Please allow 2 hours for this very thorough training.

Rehab Rescue Dog

For anyone who has a rescue dog at home that is exhibiting some of the typical behaviors that these dogs tend to have. Participants will learn some of the techniques suggested for dealing with such behaviors, as well as the concepts of clicker training. 2 hours.

A fun, visual journey through the depictions of animals in art from ancient Sumeria through Egyptian, Roman, up to modern times. How does art express the current perceptions of animals?

Entire colonies of bees are being lost to pesticides and other challenges. Students will learn about some of these, along with the life cycle and work roles of honey bees.

Students will learn about the marvelous world of marsupials in Australia, along with Aboriginal art and myths about these amazing creatures. From the wombat to the wallaby, we talk about them all. Fabulous packet of handouts and activities are available.

In our suburban towns, we share our space with wonderful wild creatures. One of them is the smart and dexterous raccoon, who we’ll meet in the pictures of rehabilitated raccoons over the span of my wildlife career. Their habits, their idiosyncrasies, their life cycle. We’ll talk about rabies risks and safety, and the laws in Rhode Island.

There is a huge illegal market for wildlife, and students will learn about the challenges we face in controlling it, and just as importantly, the fear and threats these animals face. Exotic birds, the adorable marmoset, tigers, and a myriad of other animals headed to the illegal pet and entertainment industries. Handouts and resources will be provided.

Careers with Animals button

Geared toward middle and high school students beginning to think about the many career goals involving working with or for the benefit of animals, this program highlights many careers and the opportunity to learn about required schooling or background. Often followed by the Mind Mapping program, a marvelous tool for working out decision-making or project processes. Lots of resources are provided for later exploration by students.

Marine Mammal Rehabilitation button

This program introduces students to the many species of marine mammals in the New England area, and some of the challenges they face in the wild. We discuss rehabilitation from seal pups to release, and some of the difficulties rehabilitators face.

This program introduces older students to the many species of sea turtles who are critically endangered, the challenges they face in the wild, and some of the possible solutions. Students are encouraged to discuss ocean conservation and what they can do individually.

Endangered Species button

Students are introduced to many of the endangered species around the world, with a focus on the Sumatran Orangutan, and the Giant Panda. They will learn about some of the factors contributing to the demise of these species, and what each person can do to help.