SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2010

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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isy Da iss Early Childhood Studio Lesson wing Dra M Therapy dogs must be calm, good-natured, and comfortable with allowing people to make physical conNancy Walkup tact. Daisy is such a comfort to our ur school is fortunate to students when they are sad, scared, have two therapy dogs, or just in need of a quiet friend. She Daisy and Rosie, both West greets students in the morning, helpHighland terriers (Westies) ing those who are having difficulty who belong to our counselor, Marty beginning their day. Daisy assists Couch. Marty first had the idea of students with special needs as well as using therapy dogs students whose needs at school when she Daisy assists students are special. I'm sure noticed how her pet, with special needs as many stories have Daisy, was able to been told to Daisy's calm and cheer up her well as students whose nonjudgmental ears. needs are special. foster children. Daisy was subsequently Drawing Daisy trained as a therapy dog and began Recently I "borrowed" Daisy to model coming to school every day. Rosie, a for my kindergarten students. We younger Westie, recently joined Daisy all sat in a circle on the floor around at school. Daisy. I began by asking my students O 40 August/September 2010 SchoolArts why Daisy and Rosie were at our school. Student responses included "to help us," "to keep us from being sad," "to lick our hands," "to let us pet them," and "to be a friend." While Daisy rested (and fell asleep at one point), students drew her picture using white oil pastels on black paper. Mrs. Couch came down to see the students' drawings as they were finishing, and to retrieve Daisy. It was a great experience for us all—students, teacher, counselor, and Daisy. Nancy Walkup is an art teacher at W.S. Ryan Elementary School in Denton, Texas, and the editor of SchoolArts. nwalkup@ davisart.com NatioNal StaNdard Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art. Web liNk www.therapydogsunited.org

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