Walled Lake, MI: Elem school to get therapy dog to decrease student anxiety/anger

Oct 2, 2018, Highland, MI, Spinal Column: Walled Lake Schools pilots therapy dog program at Guest, Western schools After much research, board and administrative approval, Guest Elementary School and Walled Lake Western High School will pilot a therapy dog program to provide physical, social, cognitive, emotional and environmental support for students. … In collaboration with Brighton Schools, which has successfully implemented a therapy dog program over the past 10 years, Guest Elementary teacher Monica House and Ann Gray, a social worker at Walled Lake Western High School, have been working to gain awareness and sponsors for the program. Why? “A therapy dog provides a comforting presence at school, and research shows that just the presence of a therapy dog decreases anxiety and enables students to work through issues such as anger,” House said. “Research also shows that reading scores go up and social interactions improve too. What makes this really unique for us is that the school owns the dog. I strongly feel that the presence of Champ in our building will not only have a calming effect, but will also motivate students. My hope is to expand this to more schools each year.” … Gray concluded, “In the end, the dog will touch many children’s lives throughout the years to come. We are hopeful that donors will want to be part of this program that is on the cutting age.”