Con­nect with dogs

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BYGRACE EVANS gevans@ ne­me­

EUROA Sec­ondary Stu­dents re­ceived a visit from some furry friends last week, with the sec­ond in­stal­la­tion of the Dogs Con­nect Pro­gram get­ting un­der­way.

Dogs Sonny and Jack, along with their hu­man helper Grant vis­ited the stu­dents to help dis­cuss body lan­guage, move­ment and em­pa­thy.

The ses­sion was aimed around help­ing the stu­dents im­prove their well­be­ing and be­ing able to recog­nise oth­ers emo­tions and con­nect with other stu­dents in their class.

The Dog Con­nect Pro­gram sup­ports you in bring­ing a dog into your school com­mu­nity to im­prove the learn­ing jour­ney and cul­ture of your school.

The pro­gram is part of School Fo­cused Youth Ser­vice , which is a state wide pro­gram funded through the depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, since 1998, which work with schools to im­ple­ment in­ter­ven­tions that might help them ad­dress bar­ri­ers to en­gage­ment.

For­mer Bendigo pri­mary school teacher and Dogs Con­nect founder, Grant Shan­non, launched the pro­gram in 2015 with a pas­sion to make a pos­i­tive change in schools.

“Af­ter work­ing as a pri­mary school teacher for over a decade, the need for Dogs Con­nect was born to help stu­dents feel more con­nected and en­gaged in their school en­vi­ron­ment,” Mr Shan­non said.

Dogs Con­nect is based on aca­demic re­search around stu­dent well­be­ing and ap­plied learn­ing com­bined with ex­pe­ri­ence of a broad range of teach­ing and be­havioural man­age­ment prac­tices.

Pro­gram data has shown a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in anx­i­ety and stress, and im­prove­ment in school at­ten­dance.

Mr Shan­non will work with hav­ing your own school dog from the early stages, through to us­ing a dog as a teach­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tor, and ed­u­ca­tion en­hance­ment tool.

With school dog Sandy al­ready a fa­mil­iar face around the Sec­ondary Col­lege, they are hop­ing she can play a sim­i­lar role to Sonny in help- ing the stu­dents with their emo­tions.

Af­ter ini­tially bring­ing the school dog Sandy into her coun­selling ses­sions, school Coun­sel­lor Shar­lene Jo­hannssen be­gan to see more of an open­ing up of stu­dents when the dog was present.

“I was think­ing we re­ally needed to learn how to best utilise Sandy in the school and for our stu­dents,” Ms Jo­hannssen said.

PUPPY LOV­ING: Euroa Sec­ondary Stu­dents are learn­ing to con­nect with their emo­tions through puppy in­ter­ac­tion. Pic­tured are (from left) Sammy Tatai, Jay­den Ebert, Ja­son Schultz, Jor­dan Kip­ping, Shar­lene Jo­hannssen, Joanne Har­ri­son; (front) Grant Shan­non and dogs Sonny and Jack.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.