Tracey Williams & Cuba

Minimum Goal: 
$8,000
Amount Raised: 
$1,207
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My name is Tracey Williams and I’m an Intensive Special Education Teacher for Boston Public Schools.  Several years ago I had three therapy dogs participate in a summer program for students with autism.  The dogs came in twice a week and worked with children ages 3.9 to 5 years of age.  The children increased their language skills, social skills, improved behavioral issues and classroom topics such as turn taking and completing a task.  After that experience I was hooked on working with a classroom dog and students with behavioral needs, Autism, cognitive and developmental diagnosis. 

My classroom consists of children who are entering school for the first time and have severe anxiety, non-verbal, and socialization deficits.   Having Cuba in the classroom calms the environment for learning, increases verbal skills as well as social skills and increases the motivation for the whole classroom.

I have seen the excellent outcomes of using a classroom dog for students with limited to none receptive language, Autism, Oppositional Defiance, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, and other behavioral needs.    I have used classroom dogs for the last four years with three schools and find the results to be well worth the endeavor.  

My continued hope is to establish a solid program within my classroom and reach out to other teachers within my district to use classroom dogs in higher grades and establish a learning community that goes beyond special education, involving all students in classrooms using a classroom dog in all of their learning environments.