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Mutt-i-grees Hits the News!

We were overjoyed to see the amazing work of Mutt-i-grees highlighted by CBS This Morning! CBS stated that New York schools are “going to the dogs.. in the best possible way!” in a report that shows how the Mutt-i-grees approach is transforming the lives of children and their four legged friends at New Bridges Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York. 

Mutt-i-grees is a social and emotional learning curriculum that teaches children essential skills for academic and life success, by introducing them to the unique characteristics of shelter dogs.

Developed by Yale University and North Shore Animal League, the approach was inspired by research on the benefits of human-animal interactions, in particular, dogs’ ability to help people become calm and socially connected. 

New York City's Department of Education is so impressed with Mutt-i-grees that it has expanded the programme to 42 schools this year. At New Bridges Elementary School, two adopted dogs, Shine and Brightly, roam the school halls and take on a variety of roles to bolster culture, community and caring among the students.

Shine and Brightly have become the best of friends with the students and while some of the students were wary of dogs at first, they soon came to love these two! One Fifth grader reported, "Fourth grade was kinda weird 'cause all the kids were mean and not following direction. And then when everybody came to fifth grade and Shine and Brightly was here, they all just acted different and started being happy and being nice to each other."

The report highlights a preliminary evaluation of the program conducted by Yale University, which reveals that 90% of participating educators reported improved student behavior, while 79% said the dogs increased student interest in school.

To find out more about Mutt-i-grees and how to implement this innovation in your school, head to the innovation page.

You can see the original CBS report here.