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WESTMOUNT PARK B.A.S.E STUDENTS UNLEASH THEIR POTENTIAL IN DOG-ASSISTED PROGRAM

MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 8, 2013 – Before and After School Enriched (B.A.S.E) Daycare Program students at Westmount Park Elementary School (15 Park Place) are participating in PAWSitive Leadership: a program that brings certified dogs into the classroom as a fun and engaging way to teach students character development and life skills.

Approximately 20 B.A.S.E students are benefitting from the canine-assisted program every Wednesday from 3:45 pm to 5:15 pm. The program will wrap up on February 27.

Over the past month, B.A.S.E students have had the chance to interact with a number of certified dogs. Recently, a St. Bernard named Baloo was on hand to teach students how to properly greet a dog, while a second group of students learned responsible pet ownership with a Lab-Border Collie named Scrappy Doo.

Throughout the eight-week curriculum, students will address the subjects of safety around dogs, responsible ownership, dog training, dog behaviour, breed discrimination, assistance canines, overpuppylation and community development.

PAWSitive Leadership was founded by Taryn Graham in September 2010. Through this program, Graham brings different registered therapy dogs into the classroom. All dogs have passed an in-depth temperament assessment to provide a risk-free learning environment for children.

“Petting a dog provides a calming effect and increases self-esteem,” said Graham. “Since dogs provide undivided and nonjudgmental attention, children feel more at ease when participating in learning activities.”

Graham added that PAWSitive Leadership equips children with the necessary knowledge to respect all living things, appreciate difference and see the world from another’s perspective.

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca