07 Apr

Canine Companion

Both second grade classes completed a heartwarming social studies project helping a local organization, Canine Companions. Canine Companions trains service dogs to assist people with disabilities. As part of this project second-grade students learned about volunteering and Caryl Swain visited the Lower School with her training dogs, Andy, Pedro and Forest. Ms. Swain taught the children about how the dogs are trained to assist people. The children were so excited and inspired to help they had a Read-A-Thon and raised $527! Mrs. Byrne used the money raised to purchase dog toys, food, crates and other supplies to support the work of Canine Companions. Finally, and perhaps most exciting, on the Friday before spring break the second grade visited the Canine Companion site to see the trainers and service dogs in action. It was amazing to learn, as Caroline noted, that it takes $45,000 to train one dog, and Jacob found out that there are over thirty different commands a service dog has to learn. And finally, Maya found out that there are two breeds of dogs best suited for this type of work, labradors and golden retrievers. The Canine Companion project has become a beloved second-grade tradition, and we are thrilled this group was able to experience it.