The Love Dog animal therapy team in Las Vegas was invited to present to first graders attending an elementary school on Nellis Air Force base and the visit was a huge success. These students were the perfect audience for the anti-bully program "Be Cool, Not Cruel." The dogs were greeted by a wonderful sign the students put on their classroom door showing us exactly where to go. And they were all seated on the floor waiting for us.
After an hour drive to the base, then time spent going through security and then driving to the school and signing in, the dogs had already had quite a long morning. Five Love Dogs participated and some of them quickly lay down on their blankets and took a nap!
The student who invited us to his class was there to introduce us and his father, a member of the Air Force, was there to observe the class. Little did he know he would soon be pulled up for a demonstration on the difference between teasing and bullying!
But he was a wonderful sport and the children watched him with great respect. We talked about the differences between all the dogs and how people are different and that's what makes everyone so unique and special.
We had each child discuss what they should do if bullied and share experiences they have had. The best part of the presentation is always when the children get to meet the dogs up close. We showed them how to safely greet a new dog and then they went one by one to meet each dog.
The feedback we received from the teacher reinforced our belief that this is a very beneficial program: "What an amazing program you have!!! The kids couldn't stop talking about it all day. They told teachers on recess duty, in the lunchroom and in the hallways about the dogs coming. They each had their favorite. Thanks so much for coming in and giving the kids a wonderful experience, lesson and gifts. Looking forward to next year!"
The Be Cool, Not Cruel program has now been to many school in Las Vegas and each and every one has not only invited us back but want to expand to other classes and grades. That is the true measure of success.