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Mutt-i-grees® in the News Fall 2013

Dear Colleague,

We hope you are off to a dog-gone good start to the 2013-2014 school year!

We are excited to present the first edition of Mutt-i-grees® in the News, the e-Newsletter for the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. The second and third editions will be sent in January and April of 2014. We hope to bring you news about upcoming events and new projects that are part of Mutt-i-grees®, as well as share what's going on in Mutt-i-grees® schools and libraries around the country. If you would like to contribute to the next issue, please contact us at [email protected].

What's New?

Has your local library gone to the dogs? If the answer is no, then don't despair. Canines may be coming to your library soon, to the great delight of kids of all ages. This spring the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum expanded to include public libraries with the addition of Mutt-i-grees® in the Library. Libraries around the country are offering Mutt-i-grees® programming as a way to actively engage children and teens in service learning projects and literacy efforts, all related to shelter pets. Middle Country Public Library (Centereach, NY), founder of Family Place Libraries™, is the national pilot site for Mutt-i-grees® in the Library, and over 40 libraries in 13 states and the District of Columbia have joined the Mutt-i-grees® effort so far. To see if a library in your community is offering Mutt-i-grees® programming, please visit Encourage your local library to get involved today!

Want to Learn More About Implementing the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum?

Join us at Animal League America for one-day training sessions this fall. Trainings will be offered on the following dates:

  • October 25, 2013
  • November 21, 2013

Sessions will include an overview of the research for the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, implementation options and tips, and a tour of the Animal League, as well as discussions on service learning, internships, youth development programs, and collaborations between schools, libraries, and animal shelters. Register now.

News from Mutt-i-grees® Schools:

Student-teachers Spread the Mutt-i-grees® Message

Shannon Coulter, Mutt-i-grees® Peer Trainer and teacher at Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake View Terrace, CA, is also a part-time Child Development Department faculty member at University of LaVerne and Moorpark College. This summer, her University of LaVerne student teachers participated in a service learning project integrating social-emotional lessons in their assigned early childhood classrooms and connecting the children to a community organization in need. The student teachers chose an animal rescue organization, Rescue Me, Inc., and presented lessons plans to children about the plight of Mutt-i-grees®. They worked with children to create dog and cat toys and collected donations from generous families and staff members, which they presented to Rescue Me, Inc. at a local adoptathon event. Everyone involved had a great time lending a helping hand on behalf of Mutt-i-grees®!

M.U.T.T.S. Clubs Expand in Arkansas

The M.U.T.T.S. Clubs at Shirley and Clinton Junior High Schools have reconvened for the 2013-14 school year, with approximately 50 students attending the first meeting. In a related development, high school students have established their own M.U.T.T.S. Club for the first time and have even been asked to create a Mutt-i-grees® float for the Clinton School District Homecoming parade in October! The concept of the Motivated Understanding Thoughtful Teenage Students (M.U.T.T.S.) Club began in 2011 at three school districts in Van Buren County, AR, when students expressed that they would like to form a school-based club which could participate in Mutt-i-grees® service learning activities and organize fundraisers to raise awareness for shelter pets. Inspired by these teens, other schools, libraries, and museums around the country have created their own M.U.T.T.S. Clubs to collaborate for the benefit of Mutt-i-grees®. If your school or library has a M.U.T.T.S. Club, we want to hear from you. Share your story with us at [email protected].

Kentucky School Receives Grant to Purchase Mutt-i-grees® Books

When the Oakview Elementary staff in Ashland, KY adopted the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, they wanted to build a classroom library from the suggested readings list. Norma Meek, Mutt-i-grees® National Peer Trainer and Educational Consultant, suggested they secure an educational partner to provide a small grant to enhance the Curriculum. They chose a local bank and called for an appointment to discuss their need; it was that simple! Each teacher received $75 for their classroom library, which they have used to order many books which will be shared from classroom to classroom. Norma offers some important tips for success when asking for grants from educational partners:

  • Know exactly what you are asking for.
  • Be brief and very organized.
  • Take a one page written summary to present to organization for their files.
  • Do exactly what the organization asks of you for their records (invoices, materials ordered, etc).
  • Have students write thank you notes to the sponsor.
  • If possible, acknowledge the educational sponsor in the community, unless they tell you otherwise.

Mutt-i-grees® Internships Teach Students to Care

This summer students from St. Martin de Porres Academy (New Haven, CT), St. Martin De Porres Marianist School (Uniondale, NY), and MercyFirst (Syosset, NY) rolled up their sleeves as they participated in hands-on Mutt-i-grees® internships at Animal League America. Mutt-i-grees® internships are an extension of the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum and allow students to apply what they've learned in the classroom to real life experience at an animal shelter. We are excited to announce that during the 2013-14 school year new schools will be participating in Mutt-i-grees® internships, including Brookhaven Technical Center/Eastern Suffolk BOCES (Bellport, NY) and Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Educational Center (Westbury, NY). MercyFirst students will continue to collaborate with Animal League America, as they begin a Mutt-i-grees® work study program, which is a new addition for 2013. If your school is interested in an on-site or virtual internship through the Animal League, please contact us at [email protected].

Coming Soon...
Stay Tuned for Upcoming Mutt-i-grees® Projects & Events

  • Supplemental Lessons for Students with Special Needs
    We have been busy developing Supplemental Lessons for Students with Special Needs, which are being pilot-tested and reviewed by schools in Arkansas, California, Missouri, and Connecticut. The lessons provide teachers of children with autism and developmental disorders or other special needs the opportunity to involve their students in the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. If you are interested in pilot-testing these lessons, please contact us at [email protected].
  • Save the Date for a Mutt-i-grees® Pack Party!
    Join Scooby Doo, Cesar Millan, and thousands of schools and libraries around the country who will be celebrating Mutt-i-grees® and raising awareness of shelter pets by hosting their own Pack Parties. Your Mutt-i-grees® Pack Party may be held any date of your choosing beginning in early March and may include fundraising and promotional activities - all part of service learning - that will get your entire community excited about helping Mutt-i-grees®. Schools and libraries that raise the most funds will qualify to win a visit from Scooby and Cesar and a $1,000 cash prize. We will be posting details on our website shortly:
  • A Song for Mutt-i-gree®
    Those of you who are budding (or established!) musicians take note: We are inviting educators to create original songs for the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. The songs may be for students in any grade level and of relevance to any one (or all) of the Mutt-i-grees® themes. Watch for more details in the next edition of this newsletter.

Questions or comments? We want to hear from you! Please contact us at [email protected].