During the summer of 2016, ARCHS partnered with Purina® to successfully pilot a social/emotional learning project at all three After School for All Partnership (ASAP) sites this summer. The ASAP summer sites were located in north St. Louis City and Jennings, in partnership with Neighborhood Houses and Provident, Inc., and served 130+ youth. The nation-wide project is Mutt-i-grees® and ARCHS will expand it to all 30 ASAP sites this fall, plus to ARCHS' funded programs beyond ASAP.
Mutt-i-grees® seeks to build calm, confident, and caring kids. Its innovative PreK-12 social/emotional learning curriculum highlights the unique characteristics of shelter pets (mutts) to teach essential skills for academic and life success.
The project is designed for use in various classroom settings, character education, after school programs, and libraries. More than 4,000 schools in over 40 states are using the curriculum, often in conjunction with bullying prevention and efforts to enhance school climate. Lesson plans align with the National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards.
Purina provided the three ASAP summer sites with professional development from North Shore Animal League of New York, grade-level lesson plans, pre-post evaluation by Yale University's School of the 21st Century, animal visits by local therapy pet organizations, and library resources.