CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) — Alma Schrader Elementary School is providing emotional support and comfort to students with the help of a furry friend.
The staff’s goal is to relieve students’ stress by changing the classroom atmosphere.
When therapy dog Maggie enters the classroom at Alma Schrader Elementary School, excitement erupts.
“Whenever they see them their demeanor immediately changes and they’re very respectful and they’re friendly and they’re calm and they love having them around just like us,” school nurse Kimberly Hanebrink said.
School nurse Kimberly Hanebrink adopted Maggie through SEMO pets.
She says Maggie works well when it comes to building students’ confidence.
“Maggie has a long list of professional responsibilities that she supports with the support of our staff and our students. It helps emotionally with some of the mental health issues, reducing anxiety and depression, and it works well to reduce our students’ social skills,” Hanebrink said.
Student Hayden Drogee says the therapy dog helps with focus during study hours.
“If I’m just working and I’m kind of stressed and she comes, it just makes me happier and then I can focus,” said student Hayden Drogee.
“Maggie makes me feel calm and happy at the same time because whenever I’m working and I feel like I can’t focus on what I’m doing, she makes me feel like I can focus,” said student Aniston Smith
Hanebrink says Maggie will make a big difference for the students.
“I’m very proud of Maggie. I think she was one of the best things Alma Schrader did for our family. She is a family dog and therefore very welcome in the Alma Schrader family.”
Alma Schrader’s school nurse expects Maggie to be fully trained by August when school starts.
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