Training Tomorrow's Heroes

"I've looked at other character education programsa 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.
It's not just something they've memorizedthey are learning to live it.
This is powerful, powerful stuff."   

Sandra Barbaro, Fulmar Road Elementary, Mahopac NY

Moving kids to be courageous,
caring and responsible members of the community
Telling them about real heroes
Giving them something to say Yes! to

In classrooms all across the United States and in American schools abroad, Giraffe programs give schools and youth groups a powerful approach to kids, one that fosters courageous compassion, active citizenship and academic success.

Our materials were developed to reach kids from 5-year-olds through the teens, from kindergarten to past high school. All Giraffe programs combine service-learning, character education, civic engagement and, in Voices of Hope, literacy training. All feature the stories of Giraffe Heroes—the real people honored by the Giraffe Heroes Project for sticking their necks out for the common good.

The teaching guides are divided into binders for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-9 amd 10-12. Our basic progression in these programs is Hear the story, Tell the story, Be the story. It's sound pedagogy, using the power of story to engage young hearts and minds, constantly drawing forth their own concerns and their own creativity and altruism. Throughout the process, they find and use the many academic skills they need to achieve goals they've set for themselves.

Find Heroes Right Now~Hundreds of Free Stories

If you'd like to have heroes' stories to tell your students, or if you want them to do some research on their own, there's a storybank of real heroes here, not pop stars or bulletproof guys in capes but actual people of all ages, races and locations who have stuck their necks out for the common good. It's set up in standard database form and is searchable by gender, age, location and by the general problem-area the person has worked on. It's open to you and your students, right now.


A Free Lesson

To give you a head start on using Giraffe concepts with your students, try this free lesson in Giraffeness.


Materials for Giraffing Your Kids



The Giraffe Heroes Program correlates positively with national standards in:

  • Learning (McRel Standards Database—US Dept of Education),
  • Risk & Prevention (Quest Institute's 40 Developmental Assets),
  • Character Education (Character Education Partnership's Quality Standards), and
  • Service-Learning (National Service-Learning Partnership's Essential Elements of Service-Learning Practice)

Field Reports

  • Elementary students doing The Giraffe Heroes Program school-wide have collected newspaper, kitty litter and pet food for the local animal shelter, had a "Penny Drive for Puppies," a bake sale, and a "pledge pet walk," with all proceeds going to the Humane Society.
  • A multi-age class in a small island community studied sea animals, then produced booklets containing facts about these animals and solutions to problems they face. The students then went in teams to other classes, teaching other students how to protect the ocean environment. They also spoke on the school intercom and placed an article in the local newspaper. Another class joined them on a beach cleanup field trip.
  • Students at an urban school made presentations about homelessness to other classes at their school and held an auction to raise money for a local food bank. All auction items were donated or collected by the students; the entrance fee to the auction was a can of food.
  • more




iutucoverIn classrooms since 1991,
we’ve had plenty of time to
test our ways of teaching
character and service.
As technology changes,
we’re converting our
proven content into
digital forms. Now,
the first downloadable
program is ready for you—
It’s Up to Us, for teens.
And it's free! 
Take a look!.

Are Your Kids Giraffed?

Giraffed Kids


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Stay Informed & Inspired

From time to time, Ann Medlock, this Project's founder, does a brief but inspiring email called Heads Up. You can check out past copies here. They're so good (and so free) we bet you'll join the Heads Up circle and send them on to friends & family.

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The Giraffe Heroes Kit

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



Grades K-2 Guide

Stan Tall & Bea Tall, our twin spokesgiraffes 
for the K-2 Giraffe Heroes Program 
have some bad news and some good news. 
First—the K-2 is no longer for sale in print. 
And here’s the good news—
The entire K-2 program will soon be a free download!
Lesson plans, videos, audio tracks, dozens of stories, 
printable handouts, correlations, & links to resources—
it will all be in a free download to your computer.
We’re working as fast as we can to complete the conversion.
If you’d like to be notified when it goes online,
email us, we’ll make sure you get the word.

Grades 3-5 Guide

Out of print

Grades 6-9 Guide

The Giraffe Heroes Program
for your 6-9 students

Voices of Hope

Service-Learning Guide


Student Anthology