Nora Fernandez Fernandez
In collaboration with CITA Terapias y Animales, Emotional Psychology and ModernFarmily, the URJC Chair for Animals and Society has resumed, for the third consecutive year, the project "Emotions with legs".
This is the first Animal Assisted Interventions (IAA) program specifically designed to work on empathy and emotions of minors towards them. The initiative is part of the academic curriculum of the 5th grade students of Colegio Amanecer de Alcorcón who, having participated in other editions, get involved again after the good results.
"One of the most important pillars of the Chair is training in values specifically aimed at minors, a task that has become increasingly essential," says Nuria Máximo, director of the Chair. “For this reason, for the first time in the educational system, training in values focused on respect for living beings and animal rights is included. After the approval of the amendments of the Education Commission of the Congress of Deputies related to including empathy towards animals in the new Education Law, it is our responsibility to educate the new generations about this issue”, adds Máximo.
In this way, 'Emociones con Patas' focuses in this edition on the prevention of bullying, a problem that currently shows alarming figures. Started last January, the program seeks to promote the benefits of training in empathy towards animals, with among its main objectives raising awareness about responsible coexistence, as well as offering emotional intelligence tools, developing socio-emotional skills among minors or working on the benefits of mindfulness.
In this regard, Nuria Máximo points out that “in recent years, violent behaviors in the school environment have grown exponentially, as has cyberbullying through digital media. For this reason, she urgently needs to take awareness measures that include educational centers, teachers and, in general, the population, offering them tools for emotional intelligence and cohesion in the classroom, as we do in this program”.
In this edition, the project has been resumed in person, except in two of its modules, which are virtual. In total there are 18 sessions for the complete course; In the online sessions, guidelines are provided to the minor so that he or she can identify with nature and other animals based on respect and mutual well-being. In the four face-to-face modules, awareness about violence towards dogs and people and the management of personal limits through music are addressed.
Additionally, it is important to emphasize that the 'Emociones con Patas' team is made up of experts in educational psychology and psychology, canine educators and IAA guides. These are accompanied by previously adopted, trained and selected animals that have also suffered and overcome situations of abuse and abandonment. For its part, this group of animals is heterogeneous and diverse, so that children can appreciate the value of each one based on the rescue stories, thus sowing the seed of reflection and reasoning regarding the needs of the animals. the rest.