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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Zootopia

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Children & Youth, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Youth Development, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to raise awareness, empower with knowledge and inspire actions that will restore balance for nature, the planet and all of its inhabitants. Our goal is to reduce humanity’s environmental footprint. We do this through wildlife and environmental education programs for children and families in Ventura and North Los Angeles counties of Southern California.  We also provide our programs to children and families in the foster care community at full scholarship.

Geographic areas served: Ventura and Los Angeles counties

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Carmie T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the director for a preschool in Ventura. We invited Zootopia for our Parent Participation event at our school. She expressed that she normally does children that are older and this age group may not have the attention span but would give it a go anyways. She was Phenomenal!!!!! She engaged all the children from 2s to 5. (Which is not very easy to do)She was fun, patient, informative, helpful and so so much more. I have NEVER been impressed with anyone or group that has done "shows" educationally or otherwise for preschool children like I am with Carrie and Zootopia!! All the children sat through the entire event anxiously waiting for their turn and the chance to touch or pet the animals. She answered all of their questions. This is something the children will never forget and truely enjoyed. The parents loved her too. I would recommend Carrie/Zootopia to ANY children's educational event! They simply are the best educational children’s show out there!!!

Amy P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Carrie presented a wonderful presentation at a birthday party we attended. Very interesting and educational. My 3 year old was just as entertained as the 12 year olds!

Lori K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carrie came out to do a "Field Trip" for our Amazing Animals week with our Summer Camp. She was so engaging and the kids were so engrossed in her presentation, that the staff didn't need to supervise, just enjoy the show. This was one of our best field trips yet, combining the live animals with games and crafts. We can't wait to do it again next year.

We have also worked with Carrie at kids events in our area and she is usually the biggest hit! What a great way to educate the kids and have fun!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carrie of Zootopia hosted a "Planet Superhero" birthday party for my son's 7th bithday. Not only was the rambunctious group kept entertained and engaged for 2 hours with cool animals to touch/hold/discuss, a fun interactive game, and an earth-friendly craft project, but they learned so much about how to care for our planet. My son (and all his friends) had a wonderful bithday experience and I felt really good about the theme. On a side note, many parents and older siblings were so intrigued that they stayed and participated too!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughters (ages 8, & 9) & I were camping at McGrath State Beach near Ventura, Ca. in July 2010 & if Carrie Sylvester, founder of Zootopia, would not have been in the park that weekend, our trip would have been pointless! We learned so much about our environment, local animals, recycling - the experience was amazing! She showed us slide shows, we did craft projects, they had live animal interactions - ALL of which were not only extremely fun but VERY educational! Not only was if fun for myself & my kids, the other adults I was with, my Aunt & Uncle, also had a fantastic time learning & participating!Carrie also spent time one on one with everyone who had questions! She took the time to answer our questions and was extremely friendly! Zootopia is definately something that I will always remember & certainly look forward to in the future!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Zootopia is the best opportunity for kids and families to make a difference in the world by acting at a local and personal level. Educating & empowering children and families to be leaders in creating the future of our planet is a critical and timely mission in today's world. Zootopia is the place for everyone to find something that they can do to know that they are part of what makes our future bright.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is Carrie's long time dream and it is such an inspiration to the industry to see her enthusiasm and determination to provide the best care for her animals and the most current education on the issues facing our planet. Carrie combines her love of animals and passion for environmental education in a very professional, yet entertaining way, and I look forward to seeing this grow.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I love it! I think this is awesome and should be in schools! This is a basic training that all our kids should know, how to take care of the planet and ourselves. All the people I know involoved in Zootopia are caring, loving people that want to do the right thing and genuinely want to help by teaching about the planet.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carrie from Zootopia presented an animal show at my kids' camping. She was fantastic. Her show was fun and eductional and it was the highlight of the entire camping. She is very good to engaging children and she is so passionate in what she is doing. What a blast!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We discussed the importance and values of going green and how all living things, humans are connected and rely on each other. For example, there was a demonstration where a "tree" of animals was constructed from blocks, each stacking on top of the other. We showed the children that by removing one animal from an ecosystem, even one deemed as commonly "lesser" (such as a rabbit), how the ecosystem as a whole, humans included, are negatively impacted. This lesson was very simply but carried an extremely important message which I felt stuck well with the audience.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a lot of fun! We talked about reusing, reducing and recycling to help the planet, ecosystems and how animals are all dependent on each other and basic facts about animals. For example, did you know that a chinchilla has 60-80 hairs per follicle? Or that a Madagascar hissing cockroach can live 1-2 weeks without its head? The kids seemed to have fun too. They played a game where they separated trash from things you could recycle or reuse! They also really liked being able to see and sometimes touch the different animals. This is a great way to educate children about our planet and how to help it stay healthy!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zootopia is a great organization that educates families through fun, engaging activities. Exposing children to nature and wildlife and raising their awareness about habitat allows them to connect the impact of their choices to the well-being of the ecosystem, helping to build understanding of and commitment to stewardship. Zootopia takes this idea one step further and helps teach and enable participants to make simple, responsible changes that lead to more sustainable lifestyles. As a volunteer, my experience has been very fulfilling. Zootopia's dedicated leaders have worked with me on an ongoing basis to determine how I can best utilize my own skills to contribute to the organization's mission, rather than assigning me a pre-defined volunteer role. Their supportive and open-minded approach to community involvement is a refreshingly novel approach.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to hear about the vision of Zootopia before the non-profit organization was developed. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) my career has been based on the belief that all living creatures deserve the opportunity to live a full and valued life. Anything is possible with support, training, education and skill building that focuses on our unique strengths rather than spending time looking at our “weaknesses and dysfunctions.” Zootopia provides an opportunity for children and their families to spend quality time together in nature, and experience the simplicity of relationships, fun and the creation of meaningful family goals. When I was asked to be a board member I was honored to be a part of such an exciting and meaningful adventure.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

Zootopia is great! Lots of great programs and opportunities for kids and families to learn about how easy and fun it is to REALLY make a difference in the world. The programs are focused on wildlife and eco-education and include live animals for hands-on education. Also, crafts and activities to involve the entire family and community to take on green-living opportunities.