ST. LOUIS – The story of Marshall the Miracle Dog is inspiring local students to be mentors and resist bullying.
Marshall was bullied by other dogs, leaving him with scars and only three legs. His story was turned into a book that's been used in schools for a few years.
But his challenging life is now a lesson being taught by children with their own challenges at Northview High School. And now, thanks to some pretty miraculous teachers, kids of any learning ability are able to share the message.
Marshall is treated like a rock star at Northview High School. Some of his biggest fans are special needs students who are learning to mentor their younger schoolmates.
They use Marshall's bullying prevention program. Its cornerstones are lessons about empathy, strength, forgiveness, courage and kindness.
“They can read it or they can write about it or participate in the activities,” said teacher Amanda Williams.
But a group of teachers at Northview took it a step further. They spent a year turning the pages of the book into an interactive, multimedia lesson that can be learned and taught by students of any ability level at any school.
“It's just really wonderful to see the pride in their faces when they're able to take charge and do something for themselves,” said Williams.
Northview was Marshall's first school visit six years ago. His owner said it only makes sense the new program would be launched there.
“It is absolutely the way to exemplify Marshall's all-inclusive message that he is for everyone,” said Cyndi Willenbrock.
And maybe the best part of it all is the kids getting another chance to hang out with the pup who's helping change lives for the better.
The high schoolers will work with eight-graders for six weeks during classes and after school programs. The curriculum allows each student to include their own personal experiences to make the lessons more personalized.