BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The school year is over for elementary students in the Baldwinsville Central School District but their two newest members got an orientation the last few days of classes to be ready for next year.
Therapy dogs Lulu and Mac will be joining Reynolds Elementary school when classes resume in the fall.
“In this day and age, we work in a stressful environment at times. Kids are stressed out, there’s so many demands on them and this is something that I really felt could really help these students and I’m really seeing great success in such a short time,” said Melissa Chiodo, Principal at Reynolds Elementary.
The two therapy dogs the building will have next year will rotate every other day.
“They’re exhausted after they work a day,” Chiodo said. “They’re tired, they go home and they just lay down and sleep for the entire day.”
“We just want to hug her when she comes around to us,” First -grader Knox Dicob said.
Lulu is a very big hit for staff and students.
“I like to read her, a lot of my writing pieces. I like to write and I like to read them to dogs,” Fellow First-grader Lyla Uribe added.
Both dogs had to pass their K9 Good Citizenship test and they did with flying colors. The dogs must be well groomed, hypo-allergenic, potty trained and good with kids.
About a week ago, they got the okay from the Board of Education to join the school.
“My love of animals, my love of kids and seeing the need to really bring the two together,” Chiodo said. “I know how much animals really help me calm down.”
Much of the time, Lulu and Mac will be in the principal’s office, but the idea is to also bring them out into the hallways and the classroom.
“There’s so many avenues to explore. We’re so excited and we’re just getting started,” Chiodo said.
Chiodo says she’s already looking at things like ‘Literature with Lulu’ and ‘Lunch with Lulu,’ as well as programs with Mac as well.
For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9