Franklin-McKinley School District

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TheraPaws: A New Approach to Reducing Stress and Reinforcing Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom

Amidst all the chaos across the country including the recent shooting in southern California and the wildfires, Franklin-McKinley School District is using therapy dogs as a way to provide comfort and support to students. According to research on human and animal interactions, therapy dogs have proven to reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in traumatic situations.

The School District has decided to implement this program to support the reinforcement of social-emotional learning skills among students. Benefits include an increase in socialization and sense of community, decrease in feelings of isolation, and encourages communication. “Students are learning empathy, interpersonal skills, and developing social skills through their interactions with the therapy dog,” said Superintendent Cruz. “I look forward to seeing the impact of this furry friend working with our students as they develop their social emotional skills.”