Man's (and children's) best friends helping out PSSD
The Paris Special School District board welcomed two new furry friends to the district Tuesday night.
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, along with School Resource Officers Sgt. Michelle Brewer and Sgt. Eddie Crosser, came to the board’s meeting to introduce the board to a pair of new therapy dogs, Jack and Buster.
Brewer’s dog Jack is the therapy dog at Rhea Elementary School.
Crosser’s dog Buster is the therapy dog at Paris Elementary School.
“We hope the dogs are beneficial to the schools and I hope they’re very beneficial to the kids, to the guidance counselors and overall to help the kids build a good relationship with the school resource officers,” said Belew.
Belew said that Jack and Buster started working as therapy dogs at the schools at the beginning of this school year.
Belew also stated both Jack and Buster were rescue dogs and Sheriff’s Sgt. Ricky Wade, a master trainer, had been training them during the summer to serve as therapy dogs.
Wade has a wealth of experience working with police dogs.
Crosser and Brewer both said that not only have Jack and Buster had a positive effect on the students, but they have also had a positive effect on the staff as well.
Brewer said Jack has already started having a very positive effect on the kids.
“We had a kindergarten kid that had a meltdown and had to be sent to intervention and when he got in there he was pretty upset and inconsolable so they called me to come down with Jack to the intervention room,” said Brewer.
“The little boy was just really emotional… I just took Jack off the leash and he went right over there to the boy and he just lit up and loved on Jack and he was fine the rest of the day.”
Brewer said another instance happened Monday when a little boy crawled under a table, so Jack went under the table and comforted the boy.
“I’ve seen it work twice and I’ve seen it do its job. The kids love it… it’s worth every little bit of hassle,” said Brewer.
“Buster has been great therapy for the kids and the staff to have him up here,” said Crosser. “He was a little shy at first … but he just loves kids. I think it’s a good program.”
Both Crosser and Brewer said that Jack and Buster love going to school, but they definitely are tired at the end of the day.
In other business during Tuesday’s meeting, PSSD director of schools Norma Gerrell told the board the district and each school received a Level 5 in Tennessee Value-added Assessment System scores on a five-level rating.
In that rating system, 1 is considered as being significantly below expectations and 5 is considered as being significantly above expectation.
“It’s something to be extremely proud of,” Gerrell said of the district’s score.