Charlie the lab is being trained for the district and could join the district this school year.
“It’s something that we had considered pre-pandemic, but the pandemic and COVID has certainly amplified the need. Certainly we’ve continued to see an increase in the number of kids showing signs of anxiety,” says Principal Herlache.
“It relieves stress and anxiety. Having the dogs in the schools and in the classroom has been shown to increase positive mood. Improves socialization skills. The big thing is what the dogs do for the kids in the class. It increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the kids and also decreases blood pressure,” says Van Beek, Elite Canine Training & Outfitters.
Trainer Jeremy Van Beek explained the role of a therapy dog.
The therapy dog program would start at Dickinson Elementary School and could expand to other schools.
Dickinson Principal Luke Herlache says the district has noticed a steady increase in the number of students dealing with anxiety over the years.
The district will host a Red Bird Rally and Family Fun Night at De Pere Middle School on Friday, Oct. 1. Hours are 4-6:30 p.m.
The cost is $5 per person with the money going toward the therapy dog program.
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