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Quad Cities, IA: Bettendorf elem schools have therapy dogs; they have 'calming effect'

Feb 28, 2020, Quad City (IA) Times: Therapy dogs in Iowa Quad-City schools go back more than a decade …So she wrote for a grant and essentially started the Bettendorf Community Schools program that has existed for 14 years. Today, Bettendorf Community Schools have five therapy dogs in its elementary schools. The Iowa Quad-Cities are at the forefront of a nationwide trend of embracing therapy dogs as a tool for support in schools — and they might increase test scores too. … “There was some research — not a ton at the time — that really supported how animals were able to have a calming effect on kids who were experiencing traumatic events or having behavior issues, that kind of thing,” she said. She was happy to embark on the program, and soon had Zipper, a Newfoundland, at school with her. “I just felt strongly as a school counselor that it was something that could really help our program throughout Bettendorf,” she said…. They help special ed students, too, Hanson said. … “They are amazing,” Frost said. “They are not just amazing for the students. They are amazing for the morale of adults around here, too, because they are definitely stress relievers and very calming."

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