We have each had experiences in our lives that have transformed us in meaningful ways; perhaps a few kind words from your elementary school teacher or support from a basketball coach helped motivate you to do your best. At North Shore Animal League America, we strive to provide memorable experiences to the children and teens we work with through our Mutt-i-grees Youth Development Programs.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Dr. Misty Ginicola, Mutt-i-grees Training and Evaluation Associate at Yale University’s School of the 21st Century, and her certified therapy dog, Lainey, visited with FOXCT News to discuss the impact of dogs on people with autism. Although created for all children, the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum has been used extensively with children with developmental disabilities, including those with autism, who learn how to develop social and emotional skills, such as reading people’s faces and emotions.
Last weekend, while many shoppers were hurrying to gather last-minute additions to their Easter baskets, Mutt-i-grees National Student Ambassador Layne Meek’s Teen Council collaborated with Ashland Animal Rescue Fund(AARF) to host a shelter supply drive at a local Walmart. The teens helped shelter staff engage with families at the event and collected many bags of dog and cat food, litter, bleach, and other supplies to benefit the shelter. Participating students received credit for service hours by helping animals in their community, which made the event a win-win for all involved!
It’s one thing to make plans. It’s quite another to make plans happen.
For three high school freshmen who, just months ago were appointed Mutt-i-grees Curriculum National Student Ambassadors for the 2014-15 academic year, the plans they described in their applications are quickly taking hold, not only on their school campuses, but also in their communities.
Dixie might be the most popular teacher in the South Side Bee Branch School District, but she’s not your typical educator. As the school district’s newest therapy dog, she is helping co-teach lessons from the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum to students in preschool through twelfth grade. But that’s not all. The loveable pup is also making an impactful difference in the lives of the educators and students she works with.