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Mrs. Gillette from Arvada CO is requesting a classroom visitor through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

THERA PUPS: Therapy Dogs for Special Students

My students need to work on indivualized social, emotional, and learning goals, and the specialized dog therapy program can be a tremendous help.

  • $752 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My students have bright curious minds and they love learning new things!! Because of their learning differences, sometimes school can be quite difficult. Things that other students might be able to do easily, my students have to work really hard to master.

My students have a variety of special needs such as Specific Learning Disabilities (for example, dsylexia), Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Significant Emotional Disabilities, which means that school for them can be discouraging and anxiety producing.

When these kids can master something exciting, they LIGHT UP like a Christmas tree!! I LOVE to see them accept a challenge, persevere, succeed and then share their success!!

Through the dog therapy program, students learn to communicate more effectively, gain confidence, reduce anxiety, learn to follow directions, and improve their focus and impulse control. Working with the dog therapy team is a nonthreatening approach to accomplish these things.

My Project

Highly trained dog therapy teams come to school weekly, throughout the year, to help students with individualized goals. The goals are developed with the school's special education team, consisting of learning specialists, school psychologist, and speech therapist. The special education team writes books for the children about what they are working on with the therapy dog. Students read and reread these special books and older students are writing their own special dog books.

Through their work with the therapy dogs the children grow in a variety of areas such as reduced stress and anxiety, and improved academic, social, emotional, and motor skills.

Students learn how care for the dogs, give commands in a clear voice, and teach new skills to the dogs. They must focus and listen to the trainers and try new things. The students may work on fine-motor skills by grooming the dog and buckling on the vest the dog wears. They may problem-solve things such as where to place the water dish to avoid spills, how to set up an obstacle course for the dog, or how to communicate the commands in a way the dog can understand. Figuring out how to break down a new skill into steps to teach the dog is similar to breaking down a big school project into smaller steps, in order to make learning something new more manageable. The children see that dogs may need lots of practice to learn something new just like students may need to practice to master a new skill.

Goals are accomplished over time though the joyful interactions of the child with the therapy dog, and adult team members.

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14 donors14 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 14 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Visitor Total
HABIC Dog Therapy Teams $600.00

Visitor cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


10 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Matching donations from our partners


Match offers toward project cost


Match offers to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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