Panama City, FL –
WEST BAY, Fla. (WMBB) – West Bay Elementary School counselor Kelly Dean works every day to find new and creative ways to provide therapy to her students.
The idea of a trained therapy dog has been around for a few years and has finally come true. One idea was strongly supported by BDS Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
“He has always enjoyed watching and attending to all the needs of our students. Not just academically, but also socially and emotionally, so he was on board as well, ”Dean said.
Now there’s a new four-legged friend walking the halls of West Bay Elementary School.
A Bernese Poodle mix is the school’s new therapy animal.
And although it had been a long time, Murphy, 5, who lives with Dean, is now part of the West Bay family.
“We have a lot of students who, as you know, have been through a lot in the past two years. So we can use Murphy to maybe reduce anxiety and help them feel better about certain things that are going on, ”Dean said.
The hope is that Murphy helps students learn responsibility, respect, empathy, and even helps them read with confidence.
“They can have a little bit of time Murphy will listen to them read,” Dean said.
School leaders also believe that this furry educator will improve attendance and behavior problems.
“So whatever the students might need help and support for, we’ll try to include Murphy. He’s part of our family now, ”Dean said.
The school expects Murphy to be part of the West Bay family for years to come.
West Bay Elementary gets therapy dog to help students with stress and anxiety Source link West Bay Elementary gets therapy dog to help students with stress and anxiety