It’s been a dream of the Warwick School District to implement the facility dog initiative in our schools for a number of years. After seeing the impact that dogs have on students, staff and the community, the district worked with the staff, community, and the Warwick Education Foundation in order to implement the program.
As facility dogs are extensively trained and placed in buildings, staff caretakers and handlers are also being trained on a volunteer basis throughout the district so that the facility dogs can be utilized daily.
This program would not be possible without the continued support of the Warwick Education Foundation, community, staff and students.
When teachers, counselors or administrators have a facility dog in a classroom or anywhere in the building the dog can be used to:
Increase communication skills
Reduce anxiety and ease stress
Reduce isolation and loneliness
Provide joy and affection
Improve self-esteem and feelings of self-worth
Increase attentiveness and engagement
Learn skills of acceptance and being non-judgemental
Reduce inappropriate social behavior
Build incentives around the facility dog
There are designated “dog-free” zones in the offices and throughout the building.
Students’ medical information cards have a specific space to indicate if a student has an animal/dog allergy and staff members will be notified if a student is in his/her room.