St. Jude School, part of the Erie Catholic School System has formed a partnership with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs to provide visits to students in the classroom, small groups, as well as individual students. Through this partnership ATD provides reading buddies in the primary grades to assist students with fluency, oral reading skills, and the overall comfort of reading aloud. In the middle grades the therapy dogs team up to provide assistance for students who struggle with focusing, test taking concerns and/or general anxiety.
“This partnership has been a huge success. We love taking our teams to the area schools and watch as the students forget their worries in the presence of the dogs and enjoy the comfort that they bring with each visit,” Says Judy Kosik, Guidance Counselor at St. Jude School. “The students at St. Jude love and look forward to having their four-legged friends visit them. You will often hear them ask, “When is Mariah coming? Will Murray be here today? Are they coming to our classrooms too?” Adds Kosik.
There are plans to make therapy dogs available at other Erie Catholic Schools, with St. Luke School beginning their program next.
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