Lisa Mongiello, animal science teacher at Eastern Suffolk BOCES – Brookhaven Technical Center in Bellport, NY, is in her 6th year as an animal science teacher. She uses the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum on a weekly basis, using some lessons as “do now” assignments and incorporating videos and journal reflections into full lessons. She tries to emphasis community service activities and activities that allow students to make positive impacts in the animal community.
According to Lisa, her students LOVE the Curriculum! They enjoy how they lessons allow them to reflect on their own actions and also help them to understand how to get out in the world and make positive changes in the lives of the animals they love so much. Parents and families are happy to see their children so motivated and involved in the school and community. Lisa says that the administration at her school has been very supportive, especially after seeing how motivated that the students are. She has also had the support of local pet related businesses including veterinarians, groomers, and a pet store owner.
The community is responding well, too, and Lisa and her students have worked with their local shelter, a few rescue groups, a local library, and is planning a visit to a nursing home to do a project with the residents there. Her students are currently building feral cat houses for donation and are planning a visit to a local elementary school for children with disabilities, as well as a visit/internship at North Shore Animal League America. Lisa is sure the students will come up with more brilliant ideas as they go!
When asked what she likes about the Curriculum, Lisa explains that she loves the ease of implementation. She says, “When given the binder with lessons and activities, I can do as much as I like during each unit, adding in my own ideas and materials and tailoring it to my student’s needs. It doesn’t feel like extra work and the students really look forward it. I’m loving the positive changes and outcomes I’m seeing this year as a result of what they are learning!”
She adds, “Most teachers don’t realize that many states have laws that require schools to implement humane and/or character education. The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum covers all this and more and can be ordered for free by accredited schools, but honestly it is worth the ordering fee. There is so much information and so many ideas and you can use as much or little as you like. Regardless of your subject, the Curriculum can link to many required standards that your class may have to meet state requirements – plus it’s fun and the students really enjoy it! You’ll find that it’s easy to be motivated to do more once you see the great impact it has on your students.”
Several animal science students helped organize and present at the Eastern Suffolk BOCES table at the Middle Country Public Library Pet Fair in Centereach, NY. The students, who are also working with the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, decided to theme the table at the educational community event around the awareness of shelter pets and puppy mills, as well as inform the public about the programs offered at their school. The students helped children attending the pet fair to make fleece dogs toys (which drew quite the crowd!) and the toys were given to the shelter dogs at the event to play with during the day. At the end of the event, the students chose to donate approximately 50 completed toys to Friends of Freddie Pet Rescue and NY Bully Crew, which were two animal rescue groups at the event. They did such a great job working with the community and completing a great community service project. Their professionalism was noted by the library staff and the Mutt-i-grees staff who were able to see what great work they were doing!