The children who survived the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre will return to school this week. With their school indefinitely closed after the horrific tragedy that unfolded there, students will attend Chalk Hill Elementary in Monroe, Connecticut. According to ABCNews on January 2, 2013, extra measures have been taken to provide comfort to children such a comfort dogs.
Retired principal Donna Page will take charge at Chalk Hill after Dawn Hochsprung was fatally shot by the gunman immediately after he entered the school. Page stated in a letter to parents,
"Please know the inspiration you and your children have been to my staff and me as we connect with you at Chalk Hill. Be assured that the towns of Monroe and Newtown are working night and day to ensure the facility is safe, secure, and fully operational for our return."
In a very carefully and precise manner, the vacant school has been transformed into a familiar place of learning for those children who survived the Sandy Hook shooting.
With a parent allowed to accompany each child, comfort dogs will also be available to provide therapeutic aid. Chicago's Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs were in Newtown, Connecticut after the shooting. Nine dogs and their handlers prepared to board a caravan of one RV and two vans heading back to Connecticut for the school's opening.
Therapeutic comfort dogs can help adults and children gain a feeling of calm while in a tense or stressful situation. This approach is perfect for children who ordinarily have difficulty expressing emotions after such a trauma.
The school is set to open on Thursday January 3, 2013.