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Homeless Puppies And Kittens Are Helping Children To Achieve Victory Over Violence In A Unique Curriculum Offered In Over 900 Schools Nationwide

Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Centers and Yale University’s School Of The 21 Century Host 2011 National Education Conference

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July 15, 2011, Louisville, Kentucky – Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC) and Yale University’s School of the 21 Century (21C) are collaborating on the 2011 National Conference in Louisville, KY from July 20 – July 22 at the Galt House, 140 North 4th Street in Louisville. This year’s conference will be significant, as national educators and professionals will celebrate the 20th anniversary of FRYSC.

The conference theme – Victory Over Violence – addresses challenges of all forms of aggression, violence and bullying that our nation’s children and their families experience. Yale 21C created a new groundbreaking Curriculum that will teach children empathy through stories and activities featuring shelter animals, also known as Mutt-i-grees®. The Mutt-igrees Curriculum will help children develop social and emotional skills that will give them the ability to grow up to be calm, confident and caring.

The Curriculum concept was created by the Pet Savers Foundation and developed by Yale University’s 21C program and North Shore Animal League America. Phase I of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum was rolled out at last year’s conference for grades PreK-Grade 3. This year the educators will be introduced to Phase II of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum: Grades 4-6. In addition to its focus on social skills, this phase of the Curriculum will also feature lessons on dog behavior that were developed by renowned dog behavior expert Cesar Millan, from National Geographic WILD’s The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, whose non-profit, The Millan Foundation, funds the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.

The Ponderosa Elementary School in Boyd County, KY, is the first school in the nation to pilot the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum and is also one of the original FRYSC sites. They will attend and introduce the Mutt-i-grees Dance Group to present its rendition of Walkin’ the Dog. The dance was created as a way to incorporate movement and school-wide unification into the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.

Educators from across the country including Arkansas, California, Connecticut and other states, will present workshops showing the impact of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum and the enthusiasm that it is generating in their schools.

North Shore Animal League America will be on hand along with their Mobile Pet Rescue and Adoption Unit. Each day, NSALA – the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization - will hold a cooperative pet adoption event with dogs and cats from the Kentucky Humane Society.

To add to all of the excitement, attendees along with other schools around the country will be encouraged to compete in the Mutt-i-grees PSA National Contest – an opportunity for schools to win a $10,000 Grand Prize and more!

The 2011 National Conference will include various workshops and plenary sessions on various topics, including emotional intelligence, social and emotional learning, children and pets, health and education, and community collaborations.

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Opening Session
  • Deputy Secretary Eric Friedlander, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Commissioner Terry Holliday, Kentucky Department of Education
  • Panel Presentation - The Mutt-i-grees Initiative: A Road Map for Change
  • Workshop - Mutt-i-grees Buddies: A Unique Approach to Program Implementation
  • Workshop - Building Caring Communities that Link School, Home and Local Animal Shelters
  • Workshop - Making Mutt-i-grees Matter: One Kentucky School’s Reflection of Implementation. Introducing: The Ponderosa Elementary School’s K-5 Mutt-i-grees Dance Group
  • North Shore Animal League America Mobile Pet Adoption Event – Dogs and cats available for adoption from the Kentucky Humane Society

For more information on the Yale Educational Conference or the on the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, please visit www.yale.edu/21c/current_conference.html or visit http://education.muttigrees.org/

About the Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC)
FRYSCs were established as a component of the historic Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1990. The mission of these school-based centers is to help students succeed. FRYSCs provide vital programs, services and referrals to students and their families ands promote: early learning and successful transition to school; academic achievement and well-being; and graduation and transition into adult life. Each center offers a unique blend of programs and services. The KY Family Resource and Youth Services Centers is based in the School of the 21st Century (21C) program.

About the School of the 21st Century
The 21C program transforms schools into multi-service centers offering guidance and support for parents; all day, year-round preschool; before and after school and vacation care for school age children; health education and services; training for child care providers, and information and referral services for families.

About the Pet Savers Foundation
The Pet Savers Foundation has been an industry leader and innovator in the field of companion animal welfare. Operating as the development arm of North Shore Animal League America, The Pet Savers Foundation has a history of creating mission-driven, groundbreaking programs that are piloted and then adopted by shelters nationwide.

About North Shore Animal League America
The Animal League has saved almost 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.

About The Millan Foundation
The Millan Foundation promotes the adoption of abused dogs at shelters and rescue organizations. The foundation also provides direct funding for spaying and neutering programs and the humane education of children of all ages.

About the KY Humane Society
The Kentucky Humane Society, founded in 1884, advocates the humane treatment of companion animals through leadership and proactive solutions to pet overpopulation, including adoptions, education and spay/neuter efforts.

ABOUT NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA
North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved 1,000,000 animals since its inception. “Like” us at www.Facebook.com/TheAnimalLeague, follow us at www.Twitter.com/AnimalLeague. To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.

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