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CHSD170 Pre-Kindergarten Students Welcome Comfort Dog Barney

Students from the Pre-Kindergarten program at School District 170's Washington-McKinley School welcomed comfort dog Barney (Barnabas) to a 'meet and learn' session last week.

Barney is a trained comfort dog affiliated with the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Ministries. He interacts with people at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and in disaster response situations. Barney's calming influence is renowned for helping people open their hearts and receive help for their troubles.

Kenyea Beach and Mary Ellen LaCien of the district's Peace Program coordinated the session in association with the Muttigrees Program, a curriculum that facilitates student self- and social awareness, relationship skills, and problem-solving abilities.

The activity provided an opportunity for students to enhance their social and emotional competencies and related academic skills.

"We used stories and activities about dogs as a springboard for learning," LaCien explained, "and we were fortunate to have Barney and her handler, Miss Hollye, meet with our students and share with us the volunteer work that they do to help and comfort those in need."