For children, Roosevelt Elementary in Nampa, Idaho is a place of safety, a place where they can learn and dream of the future, and a place to have fun and socialize. A large banner boasts “Safe and Solid” where we “Encourage and Equip” everyone who enters. For many of our children this vision is interrupted by the effects of trauma, abuse, stress, anxiety, and life.
We have far too many children who have lived far too much life in their young lives. There is a handful of children whose issues usually reveal themselves at older ages. We’ve reached out to our friends at the high schools for advice on how to support children with these traumatic barriers.
With all of the intense needs, it’s hard to remember that there are barriers, which are considered mainstream, growing at exponential rates: Anxiety, learning disabilities, loss, changes in housing situations, perfectionism, separation anxiety, divorce, custody disputes, thoughts of suicide, and again, circumstantial life.
As an administrator, I feel a sense of urgency for my students; Urgency to help children learn to regulate the fear and anger that some can experience on a daily basis.
Children are my charge and with each suicide, each shooting, each crisis in our global school community, I feel this responsibility getting heavier on my shoulders and heart. These are our children. All of them. And, it’s time for urgent solutions before another possibly preventable crisis occurs.
Recently, The Press Tribune came to do a piece on our children and their future therapy dogs. Click on the link to read this powerful story:
Research behind the need:
ASCD's Education Update (vol. 60 no. 2, February 2018) wrote an article entitled "Why Schools Are Going to the Dogs" which highlighted the reasons dogs are needed in schools around the country. http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/feb18/vol60/num02/Why-Schools-Are-Going-to-the-Dogs.aspx
Through your generosity on the GoFundMe page, we have purchased two Chesapeake Poodle Pups whose mom, Mila, is a therapy dog on our campus. Her pup's names are Coco and Leia. (The children named them!) And, now, we are asking for donations for ongoing vet bills and grooming.
Our students LOVE having Coco and Leia on campus. The students see them in the classrooms, out at recess, in the office, in the library and in the halls. Children have thanked the dogs for 'being there for them' when they have bad days and have a hard time coming to school. It's amazing to watch the dogs comfort our children. It seems that they have a very special and unique bond!
Thank you for you generosity and support!