Programs in Action
For the second year in a row, The Smithtown Library in Smithtown, NY hosted a Mutt-i-grees Pet Parade for its patrons to highlight the unique characteristics of animals in their community. Children created dog-themed crafts and got their faces painted as part of the festivities. The event was well-attended and each family was celebrated as their pet’s name was introduced and announced to the audience. All the pets involved proudly marched around the parade route and families were so excited to show off their furry friends. The library has seen high engagement by families and children at their Mutt-i-grees community events, which makes us very happy! To see what other Mutt-i-grees libraries around the country are doing, please visit http://education.muttigrees.org/library/programs-in-action.
Photo courtesy of Operation Paws for Homes Facebook page
On Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Charles E. Beatley Library in Alexandria, VA hosted its second annual Mutt-i-grees Day as a way to encourage community collaboration and increase shelter pet adoptions. For the second year in a row, Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. (OPH), a rescue organization that rescues dogs of all breeds and ages from high-kill shelters and provides pet adoption services to families located in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and neighboring states, partnered with the library for a totally paw-some event. Children and families were able to spend time with some friendly Mutt-i-grees while they made paper bag dog puppets and listened to Lucy Rescued by Harriet Ziefet, a book about a rescued dog who is having trouble adjusting to her new home. Everyone had a wonderful time and both the library and OPH are looking forward to upcoming Mutt-i-grees events this summer!
Many schools and libraries offer programs that allow children to read to dogs. Children who have difficulties reading may be self-conscious when reading aloud in front of others; however, a dog is a non-judgmental listener. Reading to a dog provides a relaxed atmosphere, which allows participants to practice reading skills. It also builds self-esteem and confidence and provides an environment for children to connect reading with a positive association.
Children of all ages joined nearly a dozen dogs and many volunteers from Operation Paws for Homes for a Mutt-i-grees Paint Party at Beatley Central Library in Alexandria, VA this fall. Children were able to use the dogs as inspiration for their paintings.
On Saturday, November 15, 2014, the Mutt-i-grees team joined librarians at Middle Country Public Library for their annual Scales and Tails Pet Fair. Animal organizations from around Long Island participated in the event, which attracted more than 700 visitors to the library. We’d call that a howling success! Middle Country Public Library, founder of Family Place Libraries™, is the national pilot site for
Mutt-i-grees® in the Library, and continues to regularly offer Mutt-i-grees programming for its young patrons.