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Kay's Interview

Kay, what do you think makes the school library/media center an integral part of a school?

Learning how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information at a young age is invaluable to a child's educational growth. The library encourages children to use these skills. I view the library as an essential component to lifelong learning; it is a place that enables every child to learn and grow, no matter their race, ethnicity, or economic background. The school library media center provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum.

How can teachers and parents use the library to make learning more interesting and engaging for children?

Libraries have been an integral part of the community for hundreds of years. The library is constantly evolving in order to maintain its relevance within society. Today, libraries provide all kinds of engaging resources for any child -- or adult -- interested in learning. You can find books, magazines, puppets, movies, and music, as well as internet databases, useful websites, and electronic materials at most libraries. Some libraries even offer video gaming! Teachers, if you haven't visited the local library recently, I urge you to take a class trip and ask the librarian to show your students how to find resources about dogs. Parents, too, will enjoy the library. Libraries in many communities have a vital children's section that includes resources on parenting, family programs, and much more.

How can the local library and school library/media center collaborate in the context of the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum?

Reading is an integral part of the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, with each lesson introducing books relevant to the lesson topic. Several of the Mutt-i-grees® pilot schools have used the school library in innovative ways. At Fenton Charter School in California, for example, the teachers purchased all the books recommended in the Curriculum and have displayed them in a dedicated area. There are many children's books available; ask your school librarian to feature books about dogs to add to the recommended readings.

You can also collaborate with your local public library to find other resources related to the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. Librarians can show children how to look up information related to dogs (for example, how to find local shelters and veterinary hospitals or how to adopt Mutt-i-grees®) and children can be involved in decorating Mutt-i-grees® displays or selecting and organizing materials related to dogs and dog behavior.

To recommend a great book to add to the collection, please contact Kay at [email protected].