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Friday March 18, 2022 at 09:13

The pioneering program 'Emotions with legs' returns, from the Animals and Society Chair

'Emotions with legs', from the Animals and Society Chair 'Emotions with legs', from the Animals and Society Chair

This project, started in 2021, is the first Animal Assisted Interventions program in which empathy towards animals is incorporated among kindergarten, primary and secondary school students.

Writing/Raúl García Hémonnet

The Animals and Society Chair of the URJC, in collaboration with CITA Therapies and Animals and ModernFamily, has resumed the project "Emotions with legs", the first program of Assisted Interventions with Animals (IAA) that introduces empathy towards them as part of the curriculum of the 3rd grade primary school students of the Amanecer School in Alcorcón and the Public School of Torremocha del Jarama (CRA El Jarama).

“Including empathy towards animals at all levels of education and educating new generations in this regard has become increasingly essential, as it is an effective way to prevent possible negative behaviors in the classroom and, in general, in schools. the society. That is why, recently, the Education Commission of the Congress of Deputies approved the amendments related to including empathy towards animals in the new Education Law among the purposes of the educational system, so the importance of this project lies in that, for the first time, we can include training in values ​​that favor respect for living beings and the rights of animals”, explains Nuria Máximo, director of the URJC Chair for Animals and Society.

Thus, the Emotions with Legs program, restarted on February 18 at Colegio Amanecer and on March 02 at CRJA El Jarama, creates a motivational space whose purpose is to promote the development of emotional intelligence and relational skills of students. students with the accompaniment of animals, incorporating empathy between the values ​​and rules of coexistence of students; extending for a quarter until next May 04 through a total of 27 sessions per school group between both schools, which take place both online and in person.

In this way, the activities carried out with these minors pursue, among their main objectives, to increase awareness about responsible coexistence with non-human animals, teaching the minor to relate to them from respect and common well-being; as well as knowing their needs to respect their well-being, offer emotional intelligence tools, develop socio-emotional skills, or learn about the benefits of mindfulness through its practice or the promotion of body awareness and conscious breathing.

The 'Emociones con Patas' team is made up of experts in psychopedagogy and psychology, canine educators and IAA guides who are accompanied by previously adopted, trained and selected animals who, in addition, have suffered and overcome situations of abuse and abandonment. For its part, this group of animals is heterogeneous and diverse, regardless of the race, appearance, age and temperament of the individuals that make it up, so that children can appreciate the value of each one of them.

“In this project, we use the innate emotional connection that we come to feel for other living beings to exercise empathy from childhood, promoting the benefits of training in empathy towards animals, which become a prevention strategy for interpersonal violence. . Empathy becomes a promoter of prosocial behavior and an inhibitor of aggressive behavior, so actively working on it will undoubtedly help us to improve the society of the future”, emphasizes Katya Vázquez, director of CITA therapies and animals.

'Emotions with legs', from the Animals and Society Chair