While I've always known on one level the health benefits that can be experienced when people have access to pets, over the past 6 months i have witnessed the profound positive impact that pet therapy sessions can have on increasing a child's engagement with school. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child who was previously resistant to attending school not only be enthusiastic about coming to be involved in the pet therapy sessions but actively involved and challenging themselves through competing the activities that are presented to them.
Sarah has a beautiful way of relating to the students needs and interests and weaves this through their interactions with the dog and the learning tasks she plans for them. I've watched as the student has gained more and more confidence in themselves and their own ability through training Oscar to do tricks and then build on this confidence by engaging in increasing amounts with the regular school program. The flow on benefits for the rest of our students as well have been huge and everyone's feelings get a lift when Sarah and Oscar walk into the school grounds.
I can't speak highly enough of the program that Sarah provides and am now looking at ways in which more of our students can benefit from the program she provides. It is said that a picture paints a thousand words and to see the huge smile that lights up my students face each time Sarah and Oscar are here is worth every moment and dollar I spend in the program."