News / City Life

We're in puppy love: Cute dogs might be coming to your kid's school

We're in puppy love: Cute dogs might be coming to your kid's school
Photograph: Courtesy NYC Department of Education

The Department of Education is expanding its Comfort Dog program by adding 30 more schools this year, bringing the total to 37 participating schools. The program kicked off with seven schools last year and now the DOE is spreading the puppy love across the city.

The Comfort Dog program helps students and staff relieve stress and anxiety through quality time with a four-legged friend. It also de-escalates issues, aids in crisis prevention and confrontations, provides support to those grieving and teaches children empathy. Plus, who doesn’t feel instantly better when there’s a squirming puppy on their lap? Staff will share in these benefits as well when they spend time with the dog after a long, stressful day in the classroom.

A staff member at each school will adopt a rescue dog that has been evaluated by the North Shore Animal League America and the DOE will provide the school with appropriate training and lesson plans to implement the Mutt-i-Gree curriculum.

Introducing children to dogs for educational purposes isn’t entirely new. Various branches of the New York Public Library regularly host sessions with licensed therapy dogs so kids can read to them. The notion is that children feel more comfortable reading out loud when they’re not pressured by the presence of an adult. Parents hoping to adopt a dog of their own to continue these important lessons at home should look into our pet guide for families and the best small dogs for kids.

The current schools participating in the Comfort Dog program are

J.H.S. 14 Shell Bank Junior High School
M.S. 88 Peter Rouget
P.S. 200 Benson School
M.S. 266 Park Place Community Middle School
P.S. 75 Emily Dickinson
P.S. 209 Clearview Gardens
P.S. 176
P.S. 628 Brooklyn Brownstone School
P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School
P.S. 231
P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary
H.S. 410 Abraham Lincoln High School
P.S. 185 Walter Kassenbrock
P.S. 506 The School of Journalism & Technology
P.S. 373 Brooklyn Transition Center
H.S. 139 Stephen T. Mather Building Arts Craftsmanship High School
P.S. 145 The Bloomingdale School
M.S. 896 Lower Manhattan Community Middle School
P.S. 315 The East Village Community School
P.S. 267 East Side Elementary School
P.S. 178 Professor Juan Bosch Public School
P.S. 076 William Hallet
P.S. 120 Queens
P.S. 277 The Riverview School
P.S. 224
P.S. 75 Robert E. Peary School
I.S. 204 Oliver W. Holmes
P.S. 22 Graniteville
H.S. 605 Staten Island Technical High School
P.S. 861 Staten Island School of Civic Leadership
P.S. 80 The Michael J. Petrides School
I.S. 007 Elias Bernstein
P.S. 001 Tottenville
P.S. 204 Morris Heights
M.S. 343 Academy of Applied Mathematics and Technology
P.S. 12 Lewis and Clark School
P.S./M.S. 004 Crotona Park West