In the picture above, Greta the therapy dog is in front of Kaitlyn Gargas - Peer Leaders President, Martha McCown - Pets and People Foundation volunteer, and Mrs. Rochelle Lerner - Peer Leaders Adviser (from left to right). Thanks to many people, Monday was the first official day of our Therapy Pet Program. The School Committee passed the Therapy Pet Policy at the recommendation of the School Committee Policy Subcommittee members Maro Hogan and Bethlyn Houlihan on March 12. 2019. At last night’s School Committee Meeting, School Committee Member Maro Hogan said “I was very excited to hear about Greta the therapy dog”.
The original idea started last year through a senior project by Savana Devos. She and some friends on the Peer Leaders were motivated by a presentation from Parkland Florida students about the need to provide more resources for everyone in schools. This year the Peer Leaders Club Adviser, Mrs. Rochelle Learner, and Peer Leaders Club President Kaitlyn Gargas worked with the School Committee Policy Subcommittee to develop a policy to allow therapy animals in school. The current program will provide an opportunity for a monthly lunchtime visits. Next year we hope to expand this program with our own trainer and dog that can provide more frequent visits during stressful times of the year. When the students were arriving to see Greta, Mrs. Learner said "It is great to see the students and staff with such big smiles on their face."