Education

THERAPY DOGS VISIT SMCHS STUDENTS DURING FINALS WEEK

STRESS-REDUCTION WAS THE GOAL AS STAFF PROVIDED LOTS OF ACTIVITIES TO KEEP STUDENTS CALM AND FOCUSED AS THEY TOOK EXAMS

By Reilly Wilson     6/15/2017

During finals week, the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Borchard library hosted “Wellness Wednesday” in an effort to combat stress among students. Students were able to find a variety of resources to aide in reducing their stress. Leading the charge was a group of therapy dogs from the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals PAWS Program (Pets Are Wonderful Support).

These furry visitors were on campus and available for the students to spend time with to help bring happiness and encouragement. The dogs, their owners and many students were scattered throughout the entire library, drastically changing the feeling from a hushed library to a joyful and lively retreat.

“It was heartwarming to see how much joy and calmness the dogs brought to the students,” said Teri Maihen, library clerk. “You could see that in the few minutes they had with the dogs between finals gave their brains a break. It helped ease their minds and spirits while helping them refocus and regain control.”

The library staff also provided several other activities for students, such as a coloring book station, classical music and aromatherapy devices throughout the room. Following the success of this event, the library hopes to plan recurring wellness experiences for students over the course of the entire school year ahead.

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