High school welcomes newest member of the L-S family--Maya the Dog

Dogs have a reputation for being a man’s best friend. Lampeter-Strasburg High School will now see if the axiom is true for students as well. Today, Susquehanna Service Dog Maya began her tenure at L-S.
Maya relaxing in special education Melissa Jeffers' office before a busy day of school begins.
Maya coming to L-S has been a long time coming. LS News wrote on fundraising efforts for the therapy dog in May 2015. In fact, the process has taken more than a year with several members of the L-S staff and students of the Aevidum club working hard to raise the appropriate funds as well as get the necessary permissions to have a service dog.

You might be wondering, why have a service dog in school? A service dog like Maya can help students learn empathy, sharing, and patience. Service dogs can also help calm agitated students. In fact, it has been shown that a service dog can make difficult tasks more interesting and enjoyable when involved in the lesson.

English teacher Mr. Calvin Esh agrees. Esh, who has brought in his own dog for specific lessons, remarked saying that even the hardest to reach students relax and become more friendly in the presence of a dog.

Unlike service dogs being trained, Maya may be petted now that her training is complete. However as to not confuse Maya, students are encouraged to ask permission first.

When not in school, Maya lives with Mr. Gerry Kaufhold, one of the special education specialists, and his family. Kristin Glass and Melissa Jeffers will be the primary handlers within the school.

For more information about Maya, read the letter that went home to L-S high school students informing them of her arrival. You can read that letter here. You can stay up-to-date with all of Maya's adventures by following her on Facebook.

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