The newest face in the classroom at Positive Tomorrows looks a little bit different than the students she sits next to. She’s a little bit furrier, and she has four legs. She’s a golden retriever named Georgia!
Ongoing stressful life events like experiencing homelessness can cause increased cortisol levels in the brain. Interacting with a therapy dog promotes a positive mood and provides significant anti-stress effects on the body.
School therapy dogs have also been shown to have a positive impact on kids’ social-emotional development. Dogs are friendly companions and good listeners. Students bond easily with these gentle friends, helping them feel more connected and confident. This in turn helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships with their peers and teachers.
Being around a therapy dog comforts kids when they’re upset and helps keep their anxiety at bay, promoting meaningful engagement in learning activities.
Georgia and her handler will spend time spreading smiles to Positive Tomorrows students every other week.