Brown School, an independent school dedicated to mindfully educating its students, is excited to announce a new program that allows students to visit with a therapy dog, named Lansky, every Friday. Lansky’s introduction into the school is an additional way Brown School utilizes educational programs and tools to help students understand their thoughts and feelings, while also learning to cope with difficult situations.
“Although Brown School has always placed an emphasis on social emotional learning, the pandemic showed us we needed to come up with additional ways to support our students,” said Amanda Keil, Lansky’s owner and assistant head of Brown School. “Research has shown that therapy dogs support psychological and academic growth while increasing social skills and self-esteem in children and adolescents. We are already seeing great results when students visit Lansky, and are happy with the early success.”
In addition to supporting psychological and academic growth, trained therapy dogs provide emotional support, positively impacting reading, emotional functioning, and communication skills. Using therapy dogs may also decrease anxiety, improve self-esteem, and increase overall academic achievement in students.
Amanda chose to train Lansky as a therapy dog after watching how much the campers’ enjoyed visits from them at Brown School Summer Camp. It was then that she and Lansky started on their year-long journey of obedience classes, Canine Good Citizen testing, and Therapy Dog International testing. Each Friday, students visit Lansky in his office, with some stopping by just for a quick pet, while others will read him a story or give him a snuggle.
“Lansky has been a hit with our students and staff,” said Amanda. “Some students are around a dog for thefirst time and simply learning to feel comfortable with an animal. Other students have really embraced the idea of a therapy dog. They visit him when they feel lonely, frustrated, overwhelmed, upset, or just need a little love from an animal.”
The pandemic created many issues for students, both emotionally and academically, and Brown School is proud to continue to create new initiatives that help students reach their full potential.
All photos were taken by Erica Miller and first appeared in an article in the Schenectady Gazette by Stephen Cook.
You can see the original article here: March 24, 2023