LeMoyne Students to Welcome School’s First Therapy Dog

     Published on 6/2/21   Tagged under:    District News    LeMoyne Elementary School   

A LeMoyne Elementary student smiles up from a desk covered in worksheets about therapy dogs.Thanks to a grant from the SCSD Educational Foundation, the 2021-22 school year will bring at least one new member to the LeMoyne Elementary community: a therapy dog!
ENL teacher Michaela Clark came up with the idea several years ago and has been working to help the pieces come together.
“The idea driving this project is that students must have their social and emotional needs met before we can expect them to not just succeed but to excel,” Ms. Clark explained. “Our team will utilize this program to assist students who have social, emotional, or communication goals that are impeding their success. It is my understanding that this program is a first in the SCSD and we are so excited that LeMoyne will have a dedicated therapy dog!”
To prepare for the full-time therapy dog’s arrival next school year, students have been researching the different types of working dogs and creating presentations to share with the school community about the project. They have been teaching their classmates about therapy dogs, while adults involved with the project have been identifying students who would most benefit from the program.
“I'm very excited to welcome our therapy dog to the Montessori at LeMoyne community,” school Social Worker Elizabeth Leonard said. “Children can especially benefit from the support and comfort of animals, especially the unique benefits a trained therapy dog can offer to our kids from all ages and backgrounds."
“We learned that therapy dogs can help people believe in themselves,” first grade student Sheysa Valdivia said. “They can make us feel safe and warm at school.”
“It’s a great idea to have this dog at LeMoyne because she will help kids who have anxiety,” fifth grade student Jazlin Medina added.
The school’s therapy dog was just born in April and will be highly trained, vetted, prepared, and certified before she joins the LeMoyne community for school next year!