Therapy dog going to school in Fayette 2010.08.18

Written by David Green.

dwight_the_dog2.jpgFayette Elementary School is going to the dogs this year—at least to one big dog.

A friendly Labradoodle named Dwight will soon begin his job as a school-based therapy dog.

Elementary school principal Dr. LuAnn Boyer planned to obtain a school dog for the 2011-12 school year, but a phone call changed those plans.

A caller from the Assistance Dogs of America organization told her that a dog was ready for Fayette. If the district didn’t take it, it would slip down quite a ways on the waiting list.

School counselor Janna Ballmer agreed to allow Dwight to live at her house and planning moved into high gear.

The women completed five days of training to get acquainted with Dwight and to learn the commands he’s been taught. They were also given instructions on how the dog should be used in the classroom.

“It will be a work in progress,” Dr. Boyer said.

Dwight will stay home the first week of school, but he will be introduced to students during an assembly Aug. 30.

Students will learn that when Dwight is wearing his blue bandana, it means that he is working and permission must be given by Dr. Boyer or Mrs. Ballmer before petting him. Students will also be told not to give the dog any food or toys.

District funds will not be used to support Dwight and donations will be accepted. Students will be given a list of approved food and snacks if they wish to contribute and financial donations are also welcomed.

Why a Therapy Dog?

 

Therapy Dogs serve as a well-behaved best friend for several purposes:

• give companionship

• give unconditional love

• someone to talk to

• someone to sit with you when you are sad

• someone to read to

• someone to stimulate physical contact

• someone to make you smile and feel good.

School therapy dogs also help students learn humane animal care, practice discipline and responsibility, develop an attitude of kindness and compassion, and teach about love and nurturing.

Therapy dogs can also serve as a motivator to bring students “out of their shell.”

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017