Danvers, MA: School therapy dogs for "social emotional support"

Dec 22, 2017, Wicked Danvers, MA: Therapy dogs promote reading, stress relief for Danvers students …Since the spring of 2016, Riverside has teamed up with Perfect Paws Pet Ministry of Danvers, creating a program that allows for therapy dogs to visit the classrooms of Riverside periodically throughout the school year. … Silva and Riverside Principal Violetta Powers said they decided to contact Perfect Paws after learning about the benefits of having therapy dogs in schools. Schools across the country, in fact, have brought therapy dogs into their classrooms to promote a positive, judgment-free environment for students to learn how to read. … She also noted the dogs also have an effect on students who can sometimes be challenging in the classroom. “Their behaviors lessen when they’re around a pet,” she said. “And our learning center kids come together, and that can be a challenge to get them all to come together, but they do that when there is a pet in the building.” … And as for the high school, Principal Jason Colombino said he hopes to see the program expand and reach more students. “It’s great for students to be able to connect with the dogs and get social and emotional support,” he said.