FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — For over 10 years, WHAGS for Hope has been working with Frederick County Public Schools whenever schools would request a visit, but they now have an official partnership with FCPS to have their therapy dogs visit students regularly.
“This is a therapy dog support that comes into our school for reading to our students, all 69 of our schools for math and literacy nights, and just for distressful circumstances,” Director of Special Education, Linda Chambers said.
Students and staff at any school can now request a therapy dog to help them with school or just be there to help them decompress.
“They come into the schools, and they do several things they can sit with students while they read in a non-judgmental format with their handler,” Chambers said.
Through their reading program, students make huge strides in their communication skills and social skills.
“So, it really is a big de-stressor and they found that when children read to dogs their literacy goes up almost immediately so it’s a win-win situation is wonderful,” President of WAGS for Hope, Lauren Schwartz explained.
WAGS for Hope also visits nursing homes and hospitals in the Frederick County area.