There’s never a shortage of smiles when our furry friends with Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy stop by the Jefferson Early Childhood Center. Multiple times a month, a group of therapy dogs and their handlers go to Jefferson for numerous activities.
There are a variety of activities and skills that are taught when the dogs come. First and foremost, they teach the students how to safely approach a dog before trying to interact with it.
This week included students rolling jumbo dice and counting out the numbers they rolled. Each number had a corresponding “trick” for the dog to perform, like “shake” or “lay down.” Another exercise was counting necklaces and putting them on a dog to display proudly.
Additionally, students walk the dog around on a leash, brush it, and feed it so that they become more comfortable around the animals.
“Dogs are non-judgmental, kind, and patient listeners while children are given unconditional respect and new confidence in their activities,” according to Rainbow’s website.
This is just one of the many highlights of the Jefferson program!