Yarram Secondary College has two dogs on site on a fairly regular basis in the wellbeing spaces. Bella, a black Labrador, is based in the Wellbeing room under the supervision of the staff in this space, while Annie, a small mini foxie and chihuahua cross, is based in the Wellbeing Coordinators office under the supervision of Jess Mitchell. The role of these dogs is to support the social and emotional needs of our students, under the guidance and supervision of their handler and other school staff. While both dogs are suitably trained and integrated into the school community, you may have concerns that you would like to raise about Bella and Annie. Recognised benefits from working or visiting with a wellbeing dog include:
- reduced stress and anxiety, including decreased learner anxiety behaviours
- improved physical and emotional wellbeing
- improved self-esteem, empathy, and interpersonal skills
- improved relationship building and ability to pick up on social cues
- improved attendance (for disengaged students or students at risk of disengaging).
Examples of activities students may engage in with the wellbeing dog include:
- petting and/or hugging the dog
- speaking and reading to the dog
- giving the dog commands that the dog is trained to respond to.
- Walking the dog
If you would like to register your concern please feel free to contact Lyn Kerrison on 5182 5522, to discuss.