ARCHS’ partnership with Purina® to implement Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum at After School for All Partnership (ASAP) sites is showing impact, according to a recent St. Louis-wide evaluation by Yale University School of the 21st Century. Mutt-i-grees® is a nearly decade-long social/emotional learning program that was piloted in St. Louis in 2016-17, including at several ASAP sites and for youth mentoring. As a result of the successful St. Louis pilot, the project will be scaled up to include all 30 ASAP sites in January 2018.
More than 130 youth from three ASAP 2016 summer sites in Jennings and North City, provided by Provident, Inc. and Neighborhood Houses, were eligible for the Mutt-i-grees® pilot evaluation. Yale learned that after participating in Mutt-i-grees®, St. Louis youth said they felt:
- Needed by someone
- Confident they could care for someone else
- Empathy and compassion for others
- People and pets can help each other
- Able to make better decisions.
St. Louis educators who participated in Yale’s pilot evaluation reported benefits and important aspects of Mutt-i-grees®:
- 100% reported social emotional growth in youth during the program
- 75% reported:
- Better relationships with other youth
- Ability of youth to see they can make a difference
- Opportunities for service learning
- Youth reflect on their actions
- Increased humane knowledge in animals and people
The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is an innovative PreK-12 social and emotional learning curriculum that highlights the unique characteristics of shelter pets to teach essential skills for academic and life success. It is an initiative of The Pet Savers Foundation, the program development arm of North Shore Animal League America, and was developed in collaboration with Yale University School of the 21st Century.