The Project School in Bloomington, Indiana, has found that for children undergoing stress or having trouble settling into school work, the presence of one or two dogs in the building can have remarkable impact. The school’s two even-tempered rescue dogs move freely within the building and seem to have a knack for finding the child who needs a friendly presence at any given time. The dogs are not specially trained but seem to become aware of and gravitate towards the children who need them. This social and emotional support is seamless and provides clearly positive results for the children and adults who teach them. At the end of the day each dog goes home with a staff member, where it is a member of the family until it is time to go to work the next day.
At the Compass School in Vermont a similar dynamic affords students the chance to relate to a dog when their relations with humans are not going smoothly. Pictured here are students at this innovative choice school with their two support dogs. The dogs have very different personalities, but both seem to enjoy their job of providing social and emotional support for students.