Vocabulary is an important part of learning and social interactions. The more words children know, the more they are able to understand what they read and hear, and the better able they are to communicate. Have you ever felt frustrated not having the right word? Sometimes it's a matter of recall – we simply can't remember the word. But often, we just don't know the word, leaving us unable to effectively express ourselves.
Home/Blog/ In California: Two Ambassadors and One Great Dog Steal the Show on Hallmark Channel On March 31, two of our National Student Mutt-i-grees Ambassadors sat down to discuss their experience in the program. With the help of a canine veteran of the Curriculum, the - Read more
In 2013, the EPIC Coalition, a nonprofit in Port Girardeau, Mo., wanted to develop a program using the power of the human-animal bond to help kids develop the skills to resist the pitfalls of drug and substance abuse. That’s when the Coalition discovered the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum…and EPIC Pals was born. With the Curriculum providing structure and substance, EPIC (Early Prevention Impacts Community) applied for a grant to create a drug abuse prevention program combining social-emotional learning with positive-reinforcement dog training classes.
Kayla, a 10-year-old Cockapoo, whose elderly owners could no longer care for her, had been rescued and brought to Meriden Humane Society, where Cynthia’s daughter is a volunteer. Last month, word spread to Cynthia, who fell in love with and adopted Kayla, her first dog ever. The pair couldn’t be happier. Since then, Cynthia has been busily making arrangements to bring Kayla to school every day, where the new canine instructor will be available to provide “paws-on” demonstrations for Mutt-i-grees lessons.
Students at Dr. Sun Yat Sen M.S. 131, in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, recently took a field trip to nearby Chatham Square Library to participate in Mutt-i-grees® activities and hear about service-learning opportunities they could get involved in. Accompanied by their teacher, Careen Halton, the 13- and 14-year olds were greeted by the library’s enthusiastic staff as well as by two human members of the Mutt-i-grees Team — and one darling puppy.
A rewarding outcome of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is seeing children overcome their fear of dogs and cats once they begin participating in the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum. An outcome we often overlook is an adult’s triumph over their fear of animals. Chiara Grenaway, Education Coordinator for the Baychester Library in Bronx, NY, grew up with a fear of dogs and spent all of her childhood and much of her adult life never having physical contact with a dog.
Students in Robin Rodriguez’s kindergarten classroom in Pacoima, CA, begin each week discussing their answers to questions like these as a way to learn about each other and begin to understand empathy and compassion as part of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum. Robin, who is a member of the Mutt-i-grees leadership team at Fenton Primary Center, one of the original pilot sites for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, teaches a Mutt-i-grees lesson every Monday.