Programs for Schools & Youth Groups

The K-2 version of the Giraffe Heroes Program gives the facilitator a user-friendly, three-ring binder containing—

• 200+ pages of lesson plans,
• 30 stories and photos of Giraffe Heroes,
• student handouts,
• a dvd featuring Giraffe Heroes, and stories told by Stan Tall and Bea Tall, twin giraffe mascots.

“In our society, with its focus on selfishness, greed and accumulation of material goods without regard to one’s fellow citizens, the character building accomplished by the Giraffe approach is desperately needed.… Teachers and many parents are crying out for help. The K-2 age group is the perfect place to start.… The Giraffe material is lively, relevant and developmentally right on the mark.”
—Dr. Michael Rothenberg, co-author with Dr. Spock of Baby and Child Care

The 3-5 version of the Giraffe Heroes Program gives the facilitator a user-friendly, three-ring binder containing —

• 300+ pages of lesson plans,
• 30 stories and photos of Giraffe heroes,
• student handouts, and
• a dvd video featuring Giraffe heroes.

“In Michigan we are mandated to teach core democratic values like life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the common good. Where do you find something at the elementary level that does that? When I saw The Giraffe Heroes Program I knew I'd found the materials to address these values.”
—Sharon Feldman, 3rd grade teacher, Rochester Hills MI

“The kids have already become much more considerate of each other. They’ve shown a real change in attitude—for the better—and have been empowered by understanding that they can affect the people around them.”
—Janet Rusin, 4th-5th grade teacher, Sacajawea Elementary School, Seattle WA

The 6-9 version of the Giraffe Heroes Program gives the facilitator a user-friendly, three-ring binder containing —

• 300+ pages of lesson plans,
• 30 stories and photos of Giraffe heroes,
• student handouts,
• a video featuring Giraffe heroes, and
• take-home materials for families.

“The best part for our students (in doing The Giraffe Heroes Program) was seeing themselves as part of the solution, not part of the problem. They were amazed how appreciated and respected their efforts were.“
—Amy Spargo, middle school teacher, MAT-SU Borough School District, Palmer AK

“When I do reflect back on the Giraffe Heroes Program, I come up with a wonderful gift, that has been given to troubled children that will last a lifetime—a bright memory of a success in lives that are cluttered with failure. And with that success is the memory of a road map of problem-solving steps and a philosophy of determined philanthropy for others. Each of our students has been given a compass that will last a lifetime.“
—Pete Farr, elementary teacher at Island Discovery School, Coupeville, WA


It's Up to Us
The 10-12  Giraffe Heroes Program for high school

In the book’s foreword, Giraffe Patch Adams calls It’s Up to Us, “the golden ticket to meaning—giving you the ABC’s of making your life count.

It’s Up to Us, written by Giraffe Heroes Project Executive Director John Graham, inspires teens to lead meaningful lives. It assumes that kids have concerns about the world they’re living in and that, given the chance, they want to have a positive impact on that world. It shows kids how to pick a problem that concerns them and to carry out their own service projects to address that problem. It helps them build the personal courage they need to stick their necks out for the common good, even when that means they might be embarrassed or criticized—or might fail.

Some of the chapters deal with profound topics—meaning, courage, compassion and responsibility—in words and graphics that appeal to teens. Other chapters build specific skills, such as handling stress and conflict, planning, making decisions and giving presentations.

It’s Up to Us is for the full spectrum of kids in high school, no matter how they've been categorized or stereotyped.

“Students were ignited to hear about local people who were actively risking their safety to stand up for the common good, to take a risk for what they believed in, and to model activism and community service against racism. The community service aspect of our class is thoroughly met by The Giraffe Heroes Program.”
—Betsy Bowen, teacher, Franklin High School Life Skills class, Seattle WA

“I’ve looked at other character education programs—a lot of platitudes; they just didn’t wash because the students didn’t live it. The Giraffe Heroes Program has an impact like nothing else does. And it’s not just something they’ve memorized, they are learning to live it.
This is powerful, powerful stuff.”
—Sandra Barbaro, principal, Fulmar Road Elementary School, Mahopac NY


Stick Your Neck Out- A Street-Smart Guide to Creating Change in Your Community and Beyond

This is for your most advanced teen students. It's our book for adults, but so many teachers said it worked for their sharpest students that we created a teacher's workbook to accompany it.

Filled with practical tips and inspiring examples of real people, this book provides the missing link between ideals and action. Also available- a workbook you can use to guide your students through Stick Your Neck Out. It includes worksheets you can photocopy and distribute as needed, so one copy will be enough for any size class. (read more)


Comments from Educational Experts

“A well conceived and imaginatively put together curriculum… particularly valuable for young people who have doubts about their own self esteem and ability (or desire) to do anything which benefits anyone other than themselves. Its synthesis of hands-on, academic and higher-order thinking skills is important for all students and particularly those who are prone to high-risk behavior.”
—John Shippee, Cities In Schools curriculum developer

“What you are teaching is the wave of the future. You have put on paper what everyone is just beginning to think about and verbalize. You could use this project to integrate the curriculum as well as teach real-life problem solving. I’m especially impressed with the affordable price, the broadcast quality of the accompanying video, the press kit ideas and the visioning section.”
—Connie Muther, educational consultant

“Attractive, teacher-friendly, clearly phrased and well-sequenced.”
—Professor Lisa Kuhmerker, Moral Education Forum

“I realized how affected these kids were by The Giraffe Heroes Program when I saw that they all understood at a deep level that people must take a stand, that we must help each other, and that you just can’t stand by… The kids were so excited by the stories of Giraffes that they wouldn’t go to lunch. If you think about all the people this classroom of kids will affect as they grow up and get out in the community, it will be a profound impact… The Giraffe Program is marvelous and very important.”
—Janice Cohn, psychotherapist and author of Raising Compassionate Courageous Children in a Violent World

“I honestly believe that if every school in the United States had The Giraffe Heroes Program in it, we could see a massive turn-around in not only the way our children are seeing the world and behaving in it, but the way our adults are doing in it as well.”
—Dr. Michael Rothenberg, co-author with Dr. Spock of Baby and Childcare

"It is never too early to help children develop the character traits the world needs so urgently-altruism, compassion, generosity, and responsible citizenship. The Giraffe Heroes Program offers an engaging, age-appropriate series of lessons that are creative, interesting, humorous, and highly motivating. This program can fit easily into any curriculum, and can facilitate the learning of reading, writing, and communication skills. What a great start for lifelong learning!"
—Dee Dickinson New Horizons for Learning

"The Giraffe Heroes Program is key to reducing the risks that lead to many problems for young people. Students read about real-life heroes, adopt them as role models, and develop their own self-worth, courage and compassion. As young people become involved in doing something positive for their communities, they are much less likely to get into drug abuse and violence."
—Clay Roberts, developer of Here's Looking at You, 2000

1 Way to Help

You believe in real heroes, right? 
So keep us going!


If you need to know more,
review Giraffe basics.



We now offer you a tool kit you can use to train tomorrow's heroes, in class or after school. (Full info)

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