ODESSA, Texas – A furry classmate named Birdie not only helps students but the teachers as well.
Hays Steam Academy has decided to incorporate pooch therapy into their teaching curriculum and instructional specialist at Hays Monica Pinson says there is a system.
‘We call her our reading specialist so she’s here on campus everyday the teachers sign up for appointments and the students are able to read to her,” says Pinson.
Research shows that therapy dogs helps student improve academically which increases reading and language skills as well as motor skills.
Pinson says this is an opportunity for Hays students.
“They are becoming better readers just through that simple interaction of a pup and a kid and these kids have found a friend in Birdie and it’s an opportunity for them to share with her something they are learning to love,” says Pinson.
Especially during a pandemic, Birdie helps lower both teacher and student stress levels.
“You feel it in your blood pressure goes down you relax and all of your cares and your worries just almost disappear and the same thing is true for the kids just being in her presence they shine, she shines, they just they’re meant to be together it’s perfect in these times,” says Pinson.
The best part about Birdie, this 6-year-old golden doodle, is that she creates a judgement free bubble in every classroom.