Dayton awarded prestigious $20,000 grant for dog-education program aimed at city’s youth

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Dayton has joined the ranks of six cities in the United States as designated winners for dog friendliness through the “Mars Corporation’s Better Cities For Pets Program.”

Last weekend, Mayor Nan Whaley was presented with the $20,000 grant for Wagtown, Inc.’s work on the Wagtown K-1 program and Wagtown children’s book. The prestigious award was presented at the United States Conference of Mayors.

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“I believe in the power of teaching young children important life lessons while sharpening their minds. Our strides toward dog-friendliness will be paired with responsible and proactive communication and outreach. This program allows us to affect the health and safety of our region starting at early ages. We’re excited to get the Wagtown K-1 curriculum into the hands of teachers and the ideas into little minds,” said Mayor Nan Whaley.

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Credit: Beth Miller- Wagtown, Inc. President & CEO

Credit: Beth Miller- Wagtown, Inc. President & CEO

Wagtown, founded by Daytonian Beth Miller, is a nonprofit that is committed to creating a healthier community for dogs with increased physical activity, more dog-friendly policies, eliminating breed profiling and advocating strong animal cruelty legislation.

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One of Wagtown’s most recent endeavors was the painting of hundreds of paw prints on what will be the city’s first official Wagtown Dog Trail. A part of the long-term Wagtown plan, the trail will connect two Dayton green spaces, Highland Park and Cleveland Park.

Miller is constantly planning how her non-profit will make Dayton even more dog-friendly. This includes educating canine-loving humans, too.

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According to Miller, young children are most at risk for bites. The K-1 program and accompanying children’s book addresses ways to stay safe around dogs and ways to keep your dog safe. The ThinkTV and PBS Network in Dayton is rolling out the curriculum on its stations.

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"The curriculum understands the fundamental theories of learning, humane education, and how to relate to children. We feel the curriculum would be a good fit for both social-emotional and literacy content on PBS Learning Media. Teachers are going to love this!" according to Greg Schell, PBS.


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