A New Season ~~ School Days
Chester and I have a new assignment. As of January 2017, we are a part of the staff at Almond Acres Charter Academy. How fun is that?! We’ve been volunteering in Kai's (granddaughter's) class since she was in kindergarten. Now here she is in 3rd grade…..where oh where does the time go….and it really is amazing to think we’ve been getting to know students and staff at AACA for almost 4 school years. Chester is definitely most popular dog on campus --- a kid magnet.
Long story short. In the fall I met with the Principal, Mr. B. He invited Chester and me to come on board, and pilot a new program with Chester (registered therapy dog), and me (teacher/ therapy dog handler), working in classrooms on a regular basis, and just being on campus for those unexpected moments where Chester can work his doggie love in a child’s heart. Mr. B’s vision for his school is honoring the whole child: heart, mind, body, soul. He thought Chester and I would fit in perfectly. What an honor and privilege for us to be given this opportunity at Almond Acres.
Of course….we felt this was rather like a dream come true. Not only do I get grandtreasure hugs 2 days a week in 3rd grade, we also are blessed to visit 4 different classrooms each day, from 1st to 4th grade. What takes place in each classroom looks a little different, but my desire is always to come alongside & support the teacher, enhance learning for the students, and bring a whole lot of joy and tail wags.
Each week Mr. B chooses a Habit of the Week for students and staff to focus on. Habits such as….integrity, kindness, sacrifice, patience, persistence…. One of the super-fun things Chester and I often do is to teach about these character- building-habits. I tell a Chester story relating to the habit, Chester is the best visual aide ever, giving an unforgettable-hands-on learning experience. Students journal about our visit, then read to their furry friend about their thoughts and ideas. I call it a win.win.win. For Chester, for me, and for the students.
So, that’s our latest news. Pretty exciting. As time goes on…I’ll be writing about our school days, and the Habit of the Week as it relates to Chester Tails, I mean Tales. As always, the teacher learns the most……..and I will be keeping up here, journaling about the nuggets I’m learning, and my days at school. Honestly, mostly, I write so I won’t forget the moments ~~ but if you’d like to peek in from time to time and keep up with our school days, you are most welcome.
Pet Therapy Information--- I am registered with my dog, Chester, as a pet therapy team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, ATD. The purpose of ATD visits is to provide service in a volunteer capacity. While under the employment of AACA, I am not volunteering through ATD. I continue to do volunteer visits in the community and test/observe other pet therapy teams for ATD.