Therapy Dogs Support Students in Extended School Year Program
GO TEAM Therapy Dogs visited District 49 extended school year students on June 25 at Vista Ridge High School.
The extended year program serves qualifying students with special needs for four weeks at the beginning of the traditional summer break. The program focuses on retaining information and skills that students learn during the traditional school year. The extra learning helps increase retention and ensures a strong start to the school year.
The GO TEAM is an active group of handler/therapy dog teams working in communities across the United States. The team visited D49 extended school year students every Tuesday morning throughout the month of June to show the positive benefits of working with therapy dogs.
"The therapy dogs bring genuine joy to the students in the ESY program. As soon as the dogs enter the classroom, students’ faces light up and the more reserved students become more interactive," said Chrysauna Piccolo, special educator. "The therapy dogs provide unconditional love and support to the kids and give them a general sense of well-being."
“I also have a GO TEAM therapy dog, "Chief" MSgt Boss Dog Douglas,” said Hillary Douglas, D49 learning specialist. “I find it so rewarding to bring joy to the pups and the people we reach all over town, but then to combine that with the joy we see in the students we work with each day is truly rewarding.”