Dog wearing football jersey lying on basketball court during pep rally

Whether it’s a classroom visit or a selected reward for being a SOARing student, our students love
spending time with therapy dogs, Basil, Blue, and Lewy!

Golden Retriever Blue is great about sitting with our students, and letting them pet him.

Therapy dogs have a lot of benefits to offer to school and university students.  The recorded benefits include improving attendance, problem-solving abilities, and improved calmness.

One of the most significant impacts that therapy dogs can make in the classroom is students’ socio-emotional development.  Besides their training, therapy dogs bring their lovable and loving characteristics.  These friendly companions are good listeners and offer great companionship and an audience to children without making any judgments.

Basil loves showing school spirit and getting hugs.

Students can bond readily with the dogs, feeling more connected and confident.  Studies show that this helps reduce negative behavior in children.  Spending time with dogs also helps improve children’s mental well-being.  There can be pressure on children in school environments - they're learning new academic skills, as well as social skills.  Therapy dogs help children navigate these new feelings and experiences.

The relationships between the dogs and students help develop trust in children, and such children are also more likely to develop a broader capacity for empathy. They are able to trust their teachers more, too, which helps in learning.

Lewy the Doodle enjoys visiting classrooms and being the center of attention!

Therapy dogs have also been found to help students become better readers, have increased attendance, grow in their individual confidence, and reduce anxiety.

We are grateful for Lewy, Basil, and Blue, as well as all the people who help make this program a highlight for our students!