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Mutt-i-grees in the Library

Mutt-i-grees® in the Library is an exciting initiative that builds on children’s affinity for animals and highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of shelter dogs – Mutt-i-grees® – to teach essential social and emotional skills. It is an extension of the Mutt-i-grees® Movement and the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, the latter of which is funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation, and aims to enhance children’s self- and social-awareness, relationship skills, and ability to make ethical decisions that benefit people, animals, and the environment through the teaching of empathy and related social and emotional skills. Mutt-i-grees® in the Library provides librarians with plans, strategies, and materials to actively engage children and teens by using activities, crafts, and books about dogs. To learn more about the Mutt-i-grees in the Library kick-off event, which took place at Middle Country Public Library, click here.

What makes Mutt-i-grees® in the Library unique?
Mutt-i-grees® in the Library is unique in its bridging of humane education and the field of social and emotional learning. It is based on the research on resiliency and human-animal interactions and is an initiative of The Pet Savers Foundation, the program development arm of Animal League America, and was developed in collaboration with Yale University School of the 21st Century. Middle Country Public Library (Centereach, NY), founder of Family Place Libraries™, is the national pilot site for
Mutt-i-grees® in the Library.

Mutt-i-grees® in the Library encourages public libraries, schools, and community organizations to collaborate for the benefit of children and teens. We also recognize the important role of families in library programming, thus suggestions for facilitating family involvement are integrated throughout Mutt-i-grees® in the Library.

What kinds of activities are included?
Libraries implementing Mutt-i-grees® programming may select from a range of different activities and ideas. Examples include:

  • Circulate the Mutt-i-gree® Puppet Kit
  • Create a collection of books related to dogs in general, and shelter dogs in particular, and designate a
    Mutt-i-grees® reading area
  • Invite guest speakers from local shelters, rescue groups, and therapy dog organizations to present to children and families
  • Conduct contests, clubs, summer reading challenges, and special events
  • Offer hands-on activities involving crafts, storytimes, yoga, exploration, and service learning for children and teens
  • Provide opportunities for family involvement, community connections, and school-library collaboration

What is the targeted age group?
Mutt-i-grees® programming may be implemented with children and teens from PreK through high school. All the activities and ideas featured in Mutt-i-grees® in the Library can be adapted to suit program participants of any age. Since libraries differ in their size, resources, and programming, as well as patron interests, librarians may select activities they believe to be best suited for their community.

Are specially trained staff required to implement Mutt-i-grees® programming?
The activities and programming ideas are easy to implement and do not require specific expertise or training. Existing staff and/or volunteers may be used to implement activities. Librarians may also seek the participation of interested community members. Some activities may be integrated into existing library programming.

Is the presence of a dog required?
Some libraries invite children to read to a therapy dog, but when one is not available, children may read to the Mutt-i-gree® Puppet or plush. Other activities do not require the presence of a dog.

How can we get started?
If you are interested in participating in the Mutt-i-grees® in the Library initiative, please contact Kay Hammerson at (516) 459-6628 or kay.hammerson@muttigrees.org.

To find out if a school in your community is implementing the
Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, please contact info@muttigrees.org.