• FCS Therapy Dog Logo

    Therapy dog programs in schools have gained popularity as an innovative and effective way to support the emotional and mental well-being of students. These programs involve bringing specially trained dogs into schools to interact with students, providing a calming and supportive presence. The primary goal is to create a positive and nurturing environment that facilitates learning and emotional development.

    One key benefit of therapy dog programs is the positive impact on students' and teachers' mental health. Interacting with a friendly and non-judgmental animal can help reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation among students. The presence of therapy dogs has been shown to lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, and increase the release of oxytocin, known as the "love hormone," promoting a sense of well-being.

    Therapy dogs also contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive school community. They can help foster social connections among students by serving as a catalyst for interaction and conversation. For students who may struggle with social skills or feel marginalized, the unconditional acceptance offered by therapy dogs can be particularly beneficial.

    In addition to promoting emotional well-being, therapy dog programs can have a positive impact on academic performance. Research suggests that the presence of therapy dogs in schools is associated with improved concentration, increased attendance, and enhanced engagement in the learning process. The calming effect of interacting with a dog can help students focus better on their studies, ultimately contributing to a more positive and productive learning environment.

    In Forsyth County, as of January 28, there are approximately 70 teacher/staff handlers and 5 student handlers. All handlers pass the FCS Therapy Dog test, in partnership with Rucker Dog Training and his volunteer team, once each calendar year to ensure that all dogs and handlers are held to the same standard of expectation. Our dogs work to deescalate, console, reward, calm, and incentivize students and teachers. The effects that the dogs have on the constituents throughout our district is felt more than any handler can describe!

    Overall, therapy dog programs in schools offer a holistic approach to student well-being, addressing both emotional and academic needs. The positive outcomes observed in schools with such programs highlight the potential for integrating therapy dogs as valuable members of the educational community, contributing to a healthier and more supportive learning environment.

    If you would like a visit from a FCS Therapy Dog Handler team, please email THIS GROUP with details about the request.

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