CCA started state testing with Sadie, a therapy dog used to help students cope with test-induced stress. Students lined up to pet this pup, play with her, and get cute, wet-nose nudges.
As indicated in a recent FMSD district article "TheraPaws: A New Approach to Reducing Stress and Reinforcing Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom," it states, "therapy dogs have been proven to reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in traumatic situations." The article points to recent research detailing the potential benefits of using therapy animals (animal assistance) in instances such as testing, and discusses the positive effect of animal interactions with humans.
Needless to say, Sadie became an instant hit across CCA. Taking center spotlight, her presence alone was an effective means of helping students prepare for current and upcoming state tests. Thank you Therapaws, and thank you Sadie!