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Grand Rapids, MI: 5 Catholic schools have "therapy dogs" to help students deal with emotions

July 22, 2023, National Catholic Register: ‘Good Boy’: Therapy Dogs Serve the Catholic Community

…Bandit likes going to school and spending time with students at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport, Iowa….

Wolf said Banditis highly trained to undergo specific tasks to assist professionals who work with a wide range of children and helps students deal with a range of emotions.

He can accept commands, provide physical support, and serve as an aid to individuals in crisis, too.

He works every day of the school week and is considered a part of the staff.

Bandit arrived at the school in late March, and the community has accepted and welcomed him. He particularly enjoys when the students drop by Wolf’s office: “Bandit definitely brings smiles and laughter to the kids and staff.”…

Diocese of Grand Rapids

Five dogs — Lola, Charlotte, Eve, Anna and Josie, all a few years old — serve students at schools in the Grand Rapids Diocese in Michigan.

The dogs are very much welcomed and seen as “little blessings” and put children at ease, according to Sarah Toepher, marketing coordinator for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. …

“In many instances, therapy dogs help our emergent readers. Students practice sounding out letters and words to a dog that is able to distract and reduce stress for students who may be feeling discomfort or self-conscious about reading,” Toepher said. …


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