Are We Making A Difference?

Room: St Laurent 8

Craig Naherniak, General Manager, Humane Education, BC SPCA

Whether focused on attitude change or knowledge acquisition, it is often challenging to know if the investment in humane education is helping create a more humane generation. At the BC SPCA, we introduced a standardized questionnaire for all youth attending our summer camp program. With nearly 1,200 data sets from 20 locations across BC, we have benchmarked some key indicators of program effectiveness and how youth perceptions change when immersed in humane education programming. We measured changes in attitudes and knowledge retention over the course of the week, as well as a follow-up survey 2-3 months after camp. This session will outline key findings and provide attendees with some tools to begin measuring their own program effectiveness.


  1. Discover what children know and think about topics such as rats as pets, whether whales ought to be kept in captivity, whether pigs have the same feelings as dogs, and more.
  2. Gain insight into the types of pets families keep, differences in attitudes between urban and rural kids, gender differences, and more.
  3. Learn how to set educational learning outcomes for your camp programs and train staff to teach them effectively.

Craig Naherniak is the BC SPCA's General Manager of Humane Education and has been overseeing BC SPCA education programming for more than 20 years, as well as managing farm animal welfare initiatives including the SPCA Certified program. Craig has extensive farm animal and companion animal experience and has BA in Sociology and a Master’s in Environmental Studies, focusing on environmental education.