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The Youth Enrichment at Stepping Stones Museum Receives National 3rd Prize Recognition in the Mutt-i-grees® "America Adopts" PSA Contest During An Extraordinary Canine Carnival


Pictured from left to right: Byron Logan of NSALA presents a Certificate of Recognition to Dod March, Youth Programs Manager, and to Nadia Schriel, Sarah Shillinglaw, Justin Casa, Jake Yonkers, Quinten Yonkers and Roberto Jimenez of the 2013 M.U.T.T.S. Club. They are joined by Hyla Crane, Director of Education at Stepping Stones Museum and Executive Director, Rhonda Kiest.

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, June 18, 2013 – Participants in the Youth Enrichment’s 2013 M.U.T.T.S. club at Stepping Stones Museum were recognized recently as the Third Prize winners in the 6th – 12th grade category of the Mutt-i-grees® “America Adopts” PSA Contest. Byron Logan, Director of Corporate and National Outreach at North Shore Animal League America, attended to present a certificate of recognition to the children of the YES2’s MUTT Club; to Hyla Crane, Director of Education at Stepping Stones Museum and to Dod March, Youth Programs Manager at Stepping Stones Museum. The award ceremony took place during Stepping Stones Museum’s BooZoo’s Canine Carnival.

The Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of the availability and desirability of shelter pets, otherwise known as Mutt-i-grees. The contest reflects the essence of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, a unique approach to teaching children social and emotional skills, as well as highlighting the individual characteristics and needs of Mutt-i-grees. The Curriculum was developed by Yale University School of the 21st Century in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America’s Pet Savers Foundation and funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation.

This year, students incorporated Scooby-Doo into their PSA entries as it was proudly announced to the world last year that “Scooby-Doo is a Mutt-i-gree® too!” The M.U.T.T.S. club’s PSA mirrored the Curriculum’s core values: fostering empathy, compassion, and responsible decision-making. Their video dramatically illustrates the adoption of a Mutt-i-gree and the benefits of ownership. “I gave Rocket a forever home,” says one student. “She made me a happier and a better person.” Their message emphasizes the bonds of love and friendship that adoptable pets build with their humans. “Just like kids, every dog should have security and a forever home,” they conclude.

The contest was open to all accredited schools that teach children in Pre-K – 12th grades. The PSAs were judged by a panel of experts from Animal League America, Publishers Clearing House, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The Cesar Millan Foundation. Entries were based on originality, creativity and persuasiveness. The PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative and collaboration of North Shore Animal League America, the Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Cesar Millan Foundation.

To learn more about the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum or to view all of the winning PSAs visit http://education.muttigrees.org/.

ABOUT THE MUTT-I-GREES CURRICULUM
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’s Pet Savers Foundation 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 http://education.muttigrees.org/.

ABOUT NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA
The Animal League has saved more than 1,000,000 lives. As the world’s largest no-kill 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 www.animalleague.org.

ABOUT THE CESAR MILLAN FOUNDATION
Animal activist and 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 www.millanfoundation.org.

ABOUT WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

ABOUT SCOOBY-DOO
Scooby-Doo is one of the few classic properties to maintain top on-air ratings across the globe and is consistently ranked as one of the top properties in the Warner Bros. Consumer Products licensing portfolio. Scooby-Doo is the only dog with human characteristics that can live and play in a kid’s real and imaginative world. Scooby loves to solve mysteries, is hip and cool and makes ‘spooky’ fun; he truly is the dog that can Doo it all!

SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera. (s13)

ABOUT PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE
Publishers Clearing House (PCH), headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is a multi-channel direct marketer of value-based merchandise, magazines and promotional offers and a leading provider of digital "play and win" entertainment. Founded in 1953 by Harold and LuEsther Mertz, PCH has come to be known as the sweepstakes company whose famous Prize Patrol surprises screaming winners on their doorsteps with oversized checks in amounts anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000,000.00 while TV cameras are rolling – www.pchtv.com. These memorable, real-life reactions of stunned sweepstakes prize winners have entertained audiences all across America and spawned a number of good-natured skits on such TV shows as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. The company has awarded over $239 Million in prizes and has evolved to greatly expand its offerings to include many ways to win online and through social media and mobile access.

ABOUT STEPPING STONES MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN
Stepping Stones Museum for Children (www.steppingstonesmuseum.org) in Norwalk is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. Located on five acres in Mathews Park, the recently expanded LEED Gold certified museum encompasses five hands-on galleries, multimedia theater, Family and Teacher Resource Center, café and retail store. Stepping Stones also offers onsite educational events and workshops, school and group programs and traveling resources for schools, libraries and youth-serving organizations.
Stepping Stones is located at 303 West Avenue, exit 14N or 15S off I-95 in Norwalk. Museum hours are: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10 am-5 pm; and Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday—Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10 am-5pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children. Children under 1 are free.

Media Contacts:

Mary Tobin
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Director of Marketing and Communications
203 899 0606, ext. 239
[email protected]

Devera Lynn
North Shore Animal League America
516-474-5332
[email protected]