Meet Jasper, Center Middle School’s therapy dog “whose presence has become a beacon of comfort and support at our institution,” according to Counselor Courtney Ball. Jasper is a great help to students who are having difficulty “maintaining emotional balance and self-regulation.” Courtney writes about a special interaction with a dysregulated student,
In a poignant moment, Dr. McCarthy [the principal] escorted Jasper through the school corridors, and the student’s face lit up upon seeing their furry friend. With gentle strokes, the student connected with Jasper, finding solace in the unconditional companionship. Amidst this heartfelt interaction, the child opened up, expressing their inner thoughts and feelings to Jasper, finding relief and emotional release.
But such an amazing therapy dog comes with some extra expenses: veterinary care, grooming, food, etc. Knowing that Jasper was such a huge part of student support, Dr. McCarthy brought these expenses to her partners as a potential project to support her goals. During partnership meetings, partners collaborated and discussed different ways to get Jasper the support he needed. Through this collaborative process, Stephanie Boydston, Executive Director of Serve the World Charities, was able to come up with a solution. In cooperation with Your Song Foundation, Serve the World received a grant that made it possible to provide Jasper the care he needs.
Through effective goal setting, strong relationships, and powerful collaboration, Jasper now has everything he needs to care for the kids of Center Middle School.