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Decatur, IL: Primary school therapy dog 'just seems to calm [students]'

Jan 13, 2018, Decatur (IL) Herald & Review: Dogs encouraging Port Hadlock students to read, be calm http://herald-review.com/news/national/dogs-encouraging-port-hadlock-students-to-read-be-calm/article_02f168f6-9079-5790-91bc-fcd020942302.html Dogs and students walk side-by-side through the halls of Chimacum Creek Primary School. School officials say four-legged friends at the school help students pay attention, calm them down and encourage them to learn to read. Every Friday, second-grade students get a chance to read aloud to furry companions in the school's library as part of the Read to Rover program. Recently, a therapy dog named Blitz has visited the school two to three times each week. … "With the therapy dog, we have a lot of kids that have various background situations they are coming from and (Blitz) just seems to calm them," she said. "So when they are having high anxiety over something or are angry or upset about something, it's a nice way for the kids to be able to hug, cuddle or pet something." Blitz has been in the school for about a month so far, said Jenny Vervynck, the school's student support specialist and behavior interventionist.