Cobram Primary School has a population of 210 students and is located in northern Victoria. They engaged the region’s School Focused Youth Services organisation to help fund the Dogs Connect Incursion Program with Grade 5 and 6 students in 2018. The Incursion program involved Grant and Sonny running a series of 8 teaching and learning wellbeing workshops focusing on the specific needs of students and staff. One of the several objectives was to assist with transition for students to secondary school.
Outcomes include; improved connectedness and learning for students and staff, understanding of awareness, empathy, relationship between heart rate and emotional states, and how to practice regulation. Other results indicate an increase in engagement, attentiveness towards teachers, and a general calming effect for students and staff.
The program’s success has resulted in Cobram Primary School committing to funding a permanent dog for their school community. Watch this space to find out how Lily, a 5-year-old Groodle, fits into school life.