Puppies help calm elementary students during EQAO

Puppies help calm elementary students during EQAO
Posted on 05/30/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Puppies help calm elementary students during EQAOA girl snuggles with a gold

Four adorable puppies spent their Thursday morning calming down Grade 3 students at Pope John Paul II School, St. Louis School and École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys during EQAO testing.

"I hope it just brings them a little bit more joy on a day that we know can be a little bit tougher on them because they're stuck in the classroom all day writing EQAO," said Mental Health Lead, Sue Devlin. "So I hope it just brightens their spirits a little to get them energized and ready to learn."

The inclusion of puppies during EQAO testing is made possible by a partnership between the KCDSB and It's A Dog's Life, a local dog fostering/adoption network.

"I thought it was nice that they did that. There's a lot of work in the test and the puppies calm me down," said Grade 3 student Lily Johnson. "My favourite was the black puppy because it was really snuggly and cute."

Devlin said the puppies have been visiting the schools for the past four years and since then there's been a change in how students approach the testing.

"We shifted the lens of EQAO and now we're hearing they're excited for it because now they get to spend time with the puppies. So we're glad we've taken away some of that stress often associated with EQAO," she said.

A puppy takes a nap on the grass while being pet by students.jpgOn Thursday, students were lucky enough to spend time with four 11-week-old puppies.

"They're so cute!" said Grade 3 student, Brianne Tomkins. "My favourite was the really soft one with grey fur. It's really snuggly and furry."

The puppies are also made available for Grade 6 students during their EQAO testing as well. Unfortunately this year it was a good news/bad news situation as the Grade 6 students didn't get a chance to snuggle with the puppies, because they were all adopted out that weekend.

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