"hi, brody! hi, shelby!" abby says as she enters her headmaster's office. brody and shelby, two cute dogs, run towards her.
abby, 13, is a student at shell bank, a junior high school in new york. brody belongs to headmaster ahearn, and shelby belongs to a teacher. abby likes to visit the dogs. "when i was new here in sixth grade, it was hard to settle down," abby says. "but the dogs soon helped me meet new people."
shell bank uses brody and shelby as part of the mutt-i-grees curriculum, a program that brings dogs into classrooms to help teach kids social and emotional skills. matia is a research scientist at yale university. she says the program trains students to look at a dog's body language. "by learning how to read a dog's body language, you can learn how to read humans' and see how they feel."
the program also teaches the importance of saving pets from animal shelters. brody and shelby were from a shelter. headmaster ahearn says "the dogs have made kids feel better about themselves".
many schools in the usa offer the mutt-i-grees curriculum. marion teaches at a primary school. she uses her dog, desi, to teach compassion. "before i got desi, he was treated badly," marion says. "my students and i discuss the consequences of bullying."
sal, 15, recently graduated from shell bank. but he still visits brody and shelby. the mutt-i-grees curriculum helped him to do well in school. "my grades have gone up," sal says. "and it's all because of these guys."
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