Cork school gets Ireland's first classroom therapy dog to help ease pupils' anxiety
A fluffy new pupil has joined this Cork school.
Returning to school has caused quite a lot of stress for pupils this year.
Heading back to the classroom after months of homeschooling and missed classes has certainly left students feeling pretty overwhelmed.
They've experienced so much pressure and anxiety throughout the pandemic, but one Cork school has found the perfect antidote.
They've welcomed a very special member to their classroom in a bid to ease anxiety and support students.
Midleton CBS Primary School has welcomed Ireland's first-ever full-time therapy dog to their school.
Alfie the therapy dog received a warm welcome from students at the Cork school this week.
The school has adopted the dog from My Canine Companion in Cork.
According to Cork Beo, Alfie will spend two years at the school and will undergo special training with My Canine Companion.
Principal Niamh O' Leary said Alfie will have an incredible impact on the school's pupils.
"Having Alfie in our school is going to cause a huge ripple effect of positivity across all areas of school life from social and emotional skill development, anxiety management, behavioral support and so much more," she told CorkBeo.
The principal said the dog will have a positive impact on students' mental wellbeing.
"We have the potential to see and effect that level of change across more than 200 families in our school community and that is an absolutely fabulous feeling!" she shared.
Therapy dogs like Alfie can help ease anxiety, improve physical health, lower stress levels and increase a person's serotonin levels.
They can also help people who struggle in social settings and have been a massive support to children with autism and mental health issues.
Let's hope more schools will be able to welcome therapy dogs to their classrooms in the coming years.