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Canine classmates

Posted: Friday, Oct 25th, 2013

Becca Norris and Riley Zimmerman played a vowel game last week while Bindi sits nearby. The girls enjoy spending part of the morning with Bindi because she is soft and funny, according to dog owner Harvey Bos. (Photo by Katie Peterson)

Students have many tools to help them learn in the classroom. Thanks to volunteers Harvey Bos and Joanne Pennock and their canine companions, some Rochelle-area elementary students now have some furry friends to help in the learning process.

These helpers are canine companions, or therapy dogs, and experts say the benefits of having them in school can appear on psychological, physical, social and behavioral levels. Along with the benefits, there is a positive motivational power of having a dog in school.

There are numerous applications in which to use the therapy dogs and they can reach an extremely diverse group of students. Therapy dog sessions with a student may be a reward for achievement or good behavior, a dog may provide calming/affection to students having difficulties, or sometimes students who have difficulty reading aloud to adults are more comfortable reading to a dog.

For the complete article see the 10-24-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-24-2013 paper.

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