The Mutt-i-grees team made their last assembly visit of the 2015-2016 school year at M.S 88 in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum has had such an impact on the students that they wanted to do something meaningful to give back to shelter pets in need. The school librarian, Kyra Wolfe, organized a blanket and towel drive and motivated students in every grade to collect as many items as they could.
Throughout the month of May, Mutt-i-grees students in 30 cities and 17 states, from Hawaii to New York, took part in 2016’s Mission Mutt-i-grees®, a versatile service-learning component of the popular Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. For the second consecutive year, Mission Mutt-i-grees coincided with North Shore Animal League America’s nationwide Tour For Life®, a major pet adoption effort that generated responsible, loving homes for more than 2,300 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens from local shelters and rescue groups across the country.
This month, members of the Mutt-i-grees team traveled to Newtown, CT to bring Mutt-i-grees programming to students from Sandy Hook schools as part of a fun event hosted by Ben's Lighthouse, a foundation that was started after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. The foundation was named in memory of six year old Ben Wheeler and his love of lighthouses and it supports the children of Newtown in a safe, nonviolent environment. Their mission aligns with the social and emotional learning themes we promote in the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.
For loving and fun, all kids will agree,
There’s nothing as sweet as a sweet Mutt-i-gree!
A canine? A feline? Don’t bother to fuss —
They all need what we need — they’re really like us!
Clearly these lines are not up to Dr. Seuss’s imaginative standards, but chances are the man who wrote “The Cat in the Hat,” and “The Lorax,” would happily applaud the word “Mutt-i-gree,” half whimsy, half serious message, and totally delightful to say.
Elizabeth Freese is a volunteer with Operation Paws for Homes (OPH), an all-breed rescue groups in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, which partners with local libraries throughout the area to hold Mutt-i-grees® Story Times.