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Temple Sinai Embraces The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum: Inaugural Use Of This Livesaving Curriculum in a Hebrew School

PORT WASHINGTON, NY (April 15, 2013) – Enthusiastic sixth graders came to Roslyn Heights, NY, along with their parents, to learn more about shelter pets, otherwise known as Mutt-i-grees®. The event marked the culmination of the students’ six-week course of study of the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum at Temple Sinai, a Reform Jewish congregation. It represented the first use of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum in a Hebrew school setting.

The Curriculum aims to enhance children’s self- and social-awareness, relationship skills, and ability to make ethical decisions that benefit people, animals and the environment. Developed by North Shore Animal League America’s Pet Savers Foundation, in collaboration with the Yale University School of the 21st Century, and funded by The Cesar Millan Foundation, the Curriculum is now being implemented with great success in 40 states and Canada, reaching more than one million students at the Pre-K through 12th grade levels. It is also being further adapted for use in after school programs, as well as camps, libraries and in childcare settings.

Hebrew school teacher Audra McGahan notes that in any setting it can be a struggle to get middle school-aged students interested in learning. But with the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, it’s different; once she and the students started discussing shelter pets, Audra says, “They were glued.” At what is normally thought of as an age of apathy, Audra says, her students are engaged in critical thinking about a wide array of topics, ranging from life-saving careers in training animals that search for lost children to the making of morally sound choices in everyday life.

Temple Sinai’s Assistant Director of Education, Elisa Blank, adds that the animals have much to teach these adolescents. “The Curriculum’s focus on social and emotional skills teaches kindness not just to animals but also to people.” She calls Mutt-i-grees a great fit for Hebrew school, since Mutt-i-grees is “an ethics and values curriculum.”

To learn more, or to order the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, visit

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is an innovative program that builds on the affinity between children and animals, providing a unique context to teach compassion, empathy and social responsibility. Developed by the Yale School of the 21st Century in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America, and funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation, the Curriculum highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of shelter dogs, known as Mutt-i-grees. To learn more, visit

The 21C program transforms schools into multi-service centers offering guidance and support for parents; all day, year round preschool; before and after school and vacation care for school age children; health education and services; training for child care providers, and information and referral services for families.

World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan officially established the Cesar Millan Foundation with the mission to create and deliver community humane education programs and promote animal welfare. Since its inception in 2007, the Cesar Millan Foundation has provided grants and materials to hundreds of non-profit animal organizations to support the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of abused and abandoned dogs; donated emergency assistance through the Daddy's Emergency Animal Rescue (DEAR) Fund, and contributed critical funding and professional insight to develop The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum with The Pet Savers Foundation, in collaboration with the Yale University School of the 21st Century. For more information visit

Animal League America has saved more than 1,000,000 lives. As the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, we understand that a rescue isn’t complete until each animal is placed into a loving home. Our innovative programs provide education to reduce animal cruelty, and advance standards in animal welfare. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly in the pursuit of our vision of a world where all companion animals find permanent homes to end euthanasia. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Devera Lynn
North Shore Animal League America
[email protected]