School Crisis Prevention, Response & Recovery
Paws for Learning teams are members of school district crisis response teams and have partnered with campus crisis response teams as well as critical incident stress management teams. Handlers and canines are trained to respond to incidents which can be unique to communities, schools, colleges and universities. The time teams spend in schools and on campuses prior to an incident plays an important role in crisis prevention. Canines and handlers partner with education, counseling, social work and emergency preparedness staff to ensure quality response in times of student, staff or community crisis.
Paws for Learning has responded to school bus crashes, college campus deaths, tornados and the I-35W bridge collapse. In such incidents, we care for individuals and groups affected by a critical incident as well as the individuals who care for them.
The dogs reduce anxiety and provide comfort in times of crisis. Canine teams make it more likely that students, staff, families and responders will recover sooner emotionally, physically and mentally from a critical incident.
Classroom and Special Education
Paws for Learning partners with teachers, special educators, social workers, counselors, parents and administrators to create educational experiences that empower students to meet and exceed academic standards. While working with Paws for Learning educational assistance teams, students take part in a safe, supportive environment where they can develop positive relationships and experience respect, success and recognition.
Teachers, social workers and administrators also report that they have observed increased cooperation, compassion and communication between students.They also report that after spending time with Paws for Learning teams, students are more calm and focused, the amount of time devoted to learning increases and the need to address behavioral issues decreases.
After our end of the year child study meeting, I found that Paws for Learning was the only intervention we tried that really helped my student to complete his work.MN School Teacher
Handing a leash to a student when he or she is angry or unable to focus on schoolwork has made all the difference…MN School Teacher
Our volunteer handlers and canines build trust with staff and students and provide opportunities for readers of all abilities to spend time reading to a dog. We know that when anxiety levels are reduced, cognition improves. This is the case for students who read to the dogs, as well as the students who are in the same room as a dog. Staff and students report they feel more relaxed, less anxious and they perceive school to be a more enjoyable place to learn and teach.