Connect with dogs
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.