Therapy Dogs Helping Students At Jenks Southeast Elementary
JENKS, Oklahoma - Therapy dogs can relieve anxiety and stress and lighten the mood for adults, but the counselor at Jenks Southeast Elementary is proving they're perfect for kids too.
Sam belongs to Amy Berkinshaw, the school counselor, and she has a regular gig at Jenks Southeast Elementary.
"She's kind of Southeast Sam; she belongs to everyone,” Berkinshaw said. “They feel like they can come and say hi to her, and pet her and talk to her anytime they want."
That's where the magic is.
As Sam works her way through the library, she is a kid magnet. Every time she stops, there are the kids.
Berkinshaw said it's a perfect conversation starter.
She said it's great for reluctant readers, too; and that Sam is a great listener.
"Very non-judgmental. No matter what, she's gonna love you," Berkinshaw said.
Interacting with Sam calms emotions and relieves stress.
"She has several appointments with individuals and small groups," Berkinshaw said.
She occasionally gets a little help from other therapists from Comfort Canines.
When she's not working, Sam hangs out in the counseling office - waiting for someone who needs a hug.
She's kind of a superstar round there.
"Definitely the most popular girl in school," said Berkinshaw.
Sam only comes to school on Mondays and Fridays.