Going to the dogs

Students at Silver Creek Elementary had the opportunity to learn not to just rely on technology – but rather use their own mind and senses – and leading the lessons were dogs!

Through a St. John’s Therapy Dog program, organized by co-ordinator Joyce Polley, grade 6-8 students in Noah Ralston’s class took part in four sessions where students interacted and learned about, and from, three different certified dogs.

Taryn and Woof

Ralston explains the St John’s Therapy Dog program was a two-pronged connection for his students. “First, it was a chance for students to consider the core competencies of Personal Awareness and Social Responsibility in regards to self regulating and contributing to the community.”

“Second, there was a career connection as there was also a presentation and reading/response on the role of working dogs compared to therapy dogs.”

Each session had students learn about working and therapy dogs.  “It also focussed on helping students use their minds and senses to interpret their surroundings and not rely on technology.”

Of course, there was also time each session to interact with the dogs!

Bringing in their dogs were Joyce Polley and Moby, Regina Forry and Mocha and Taryn Chmid and Woof. For those who recognize Polley’s name, she and her service dog Moby have also been active in SD83 schools with a reading program for younger students. The two also volunteer at Shuswap Lake Hospital.

“We wanted to try something new with older students,” commented Polley, who was very impressed with the students during the sessions describing them as attentive and engaged.

Here is a link for more information about the program: https://www.sja.ca/english/community-services/pages/therapy%20dog%20services/about-the-therapy-dog-program.aspx