School and Community Outreach
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To date, Cyndi and Marshall have been invited to speak at more than 250 schools and events, resulting in Marshall already meeting over 80,000 new friends. But, he is only one dog and cannot be everywhere! Therefore, a Character Education Curriculum has been designed to empower high school juniors and seniors to serve as peer-to-peer mentors; they share Marshall’s 5 Cornerstones—Empathy, Strength, Courage, Kindness, Forgiveness—with middle and elementary school classrooms.
“Cyndi’s presentation with Marshall the Miracle Dog is an inspirational and life changing experience for all ages. The expertise at presenting their message to promote compassion and empathy in our world will touch the heart of every member of the audience. So many children and adults know what’s right, but can’t get out of the gate to truly do what’s right until their own heart leads them to do so. After being a part of the audience, all will feel urgency and responsibility to step up and do something to make life better for others.” – Amy Richards, Character Educator, Lindbergh School District
Marshall was invited to be the “face” of the Humane Society Annual Campaign that ran from November 2013 through January 2014, with media outreach on four billboards on the major highways in St. Louis City and County, along with commercials airing on ESPN, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, and ABC Family. Since the publication of his children’s book in September 2012, Marshall has become a public figure and an inspiration. Endorsed by the Humane Society of Missouri and winner of the Dove Foundation’s highest award, Marshall the Miracle Dog shares the story of his triumphant journey from an abusive, bullying place to a loving, accepting home. The book delves into how Marshall learned to trust again, especially after his last attack left him with only three legs and a large scar on his face. There is a “Marshall” inside all of us – a place that feels inadequate. Marshall is a living reminder that we are all enough, exactly as we are. Marshall inspired a Girl Scout Anti-Bullying Patch and caught the attention of the St. Louis Cardinals. The beloved baseball team honored Marshall with his very own Bullying Prevention Game and parade, and he even “threw out” the first pitch.
Mission: The Marshall Mentor Program helps youth understand the importance of empathy, strength, courage, perseverance, kindness and forgiveness and challenges them to put these traits into action. The program utilizes high school-aged female mentors to deliver Marshall the Miracle Dog’s cornerstone messages. By supporting their younger peers, the mentors are developing into future leaders in their communities.
Vision: The peer-to-peer relationship between mentors and participants deepens their understanding of Marshall’s cornerstone traits. They take action in their daily lives and communities while developing a sense of leadership and self-worth.
Overview: The Marshall Mentor Program trains female high school students to be peer mentors to middle school students and leads those middle school students through a six-week program designed to teach the importance of having empathy, strength, courage, perseverance, kindness and forgiveness as part of one’s character package. This program was developed by Girls in the Know to honor the story of Marshall the Miracle Dog and his incredible spirit and resiliency despite the abuse, neglect and bullying he suffered while living with an animal hoarder, and to use that story to build character in the mentees and leadership skills in the mentors. The curriculum incorporates a literacy component that meets the Common Core State Standards of Missouri.
Pilot Programs: The Marshall Mentor program was piloted in the Lindbergh, Ladue and Special School District of St. Louis County in early 2014. Each of these districts have a group of trained high school mentors who are now busy leading the Marshall Mentor program in certain middle schools within those districts.
For more information on the Marshall Mentor Program or to bring the program to your school or organization, please contact Gina Marten at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-717-1270.