ROC Animal School is a collection of interactive programs that teaches people of all ages about wild and domesticated animals using talking animal characters, i.e., mascots. Started in 2011 by Nick Hadad, ROC Animal School has taken its most recent shape in May 2016, with Nick at the helm of event coordination and performing and Katie Gill operating multimedia marketing and production.

Our mission is to educate people about wildlife, ecology, environmentalism, research, sustainability, conservation and biodiversity. We want to inspire compassion for animals from all walks of life. We seek to make others love and respect animals as much as we do! ROC Animal School achieves this by pairing the arts and entertainment with hands-on educational presentations. We believe empathy and education are the cornerstones of change. ROC Animal School strives to change peoples’ perceptions of animals that get a bad rap, and to improve human-wildlife interactions in order to sustain and conserve the ecosystems that benefit all of us.

Since people do not usually get the chance to talk with wild animals, ROC Animal School’s characters serve as intermediaries and ambassadors for creatures throughout the Animal Kingdom. We answer questions our audience has about these fauna and dispel common misconceptions. ROC Animal School teaches people of all ages about wildlife, including where they live, how the hunt, how they communicate, how they operate in a group and what their various roles in the ecosystem are. Perhaps most importantly, ROC Animal School shows people how important each animal is to keeping ecosystems balanced and how even the smallest creature, no matter where it exists on this planet, can have a profound impact on humans.

Check out our most frequently asked questions.

At present, we have nine characters available for programs and events: Howler Wolf, Kele Kestrel, Thor the Marble Fox, Oslo the Owl, Swift the Red Fox, Skye the Bald Eagle, Dakota Coyote, Talon the Hawk, and Inola the Arctic Fox. We also have an Easter Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and, hopefully in time for next Thanksgiving, a turkey available for holiday-related events.

ROC Animal School plans to get a Patreon or GoFundMe account so we can make additional characters and get better equipment for programs and projects.

We travel throughout Monroe County to perform. Some of our most frequently visited venues and events have been:

  • Schools
  • Afterschool Programs
  • Day Cares
  • Community Centers
  • Nature Centers
  • Summer Camps
  • Educational Programs
  • Libraries
  • Bookstores
  • Senior Centers
  • Festivals
  • Birthday Parties
  • Farmers Markets
  • Corporate Events

You can either choose from one of our pre-existing programs or work with us to create a customized program that incorporates your theme with our talking characters! Our major target audience is kids from pre-K to grade 6, but we do work with people in every age group, including seniors. We operate year-round, allowing everyone to get in on this unique educational opportunity.

The average cost for one of our programs is $75. We are a mom-and-pop run operation, so materials, production and performance fees, and travel are included in this estimate. We generally stay within the greater Rochester, NY area to keep fees low. For shorter gigs, such as birthday party appearances, cost is negotiable, within reason.

ROC Animal School strives to create unique and engaging content, in all mediums, that educates and informs others about animals throughout the world. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress. You can follow us online for various fun animal facts, photos, videos, projects and news about the animal world.

Our program is constantly expanding and experimenting with ideas, so expect even more features to appear in the near future. We are passionate performers dedicated to our craft and seek to inspire that passion for the arts and compassion for animals in others.

So come join the pack! ROC Animal School guarantees a howling good time for everyone involved.