Therapy dogs accompanied the children in their back-to-school.
Fundación Affinity and school Lleó XIII of Barcelona have driven this initiative that looks for creating a more positive experience for the beginning of the school year and helping those pupils who struggle with being away from home and coping with this new period.
12th September 2019, Barcelona- The school year kicked off in Catalonia. It is a day in which both teachers and friends meet again, but it can also be a realchallenge for those children that return to school and/or start their school period. That is why, more than 200 students of Pre-primary and Primary school of Lleó XIII of Barcelona were greeted by some special partners in their first day of school : six therapy dogs from Fundación Affinity were there on their arrival to be the first ones to welcome them.
This initiative, held for the second consecutive year due to its good reception, looks for creating a more positive experience for the beginning of the school year and to help those students who struggle the most with being separated from their parents. It goes without saying that the beginning of the school year can turn to a real challenge for the youngest, since they need to adapt themselves to a new routine, atmosphere and company.
In order to try to change this situation and avoid crying and suffer from our students, Fundación Affinity and the school Lleó XIII of Barcelona get together once again to carry out this initiative, whose aim is to provide an extra support to the pupils creating a more satisfying experience the first day of the school year. For this reason, the dogs have been in the school during all the morning: they have received the dogs on their arrival, visited them in classes, played with them during the break time. Also, they have organised different games and activities guided by the dogs caretakers with the teachers’ support.
The school Lleó XIII is commited to innovative initiatives that enrich our pupils. The first day is very important and exciting for parents, students and teachers; since we all start a new school year. That day means excitement and too many emotions. Therefore, being able to share the first lesson hours with therapy dogs from Fundación Affinity has many benefits for the students, since they start with a completely different activity that help them to have a more positive perception and a more relaxed attitude. It is been a pleasant experience for everybody.
Benefits of having dogs in the school environment.
The presence of dogs in the school environment has multiple benefits for children. That is been demonstrated by several international studies, that come to the conclusion that interaction with dogs improves language and reading skills of children, increase their social and emotional abilities and enhance their motor skills, among others.
Moreover, it is been verified that those children that are struggling with stressful situations, when they are accompanied by a dog, they show more peacefulness; which help them to face better their conflicts, leading to more positive results.
That is why, this initiative is worthwhile to both children and adults. On the one hand, the little ones have a better response to the stress of the first day ; on the other hand, parents and family stay more calm when they see their child coping with the situation in a more positive way.