President's News For December 2018

Time flies when you're having fun and our Roxy teams have been doing just that!  Roxy Therapy Dogs' 14th school year is well underway, supporting students in Central Bucks School District. Teams are in 138 classes, in 14 elementary schools, an increase of 9% from last year, and we have 4 classes on a waiting list that we are enthusiastically trying to fill.  Over 3,300 students are visited each week! In addition to the elementary schools, Roxy continues to support the high schools, Doylestown Hospital, Pedia Manor and the Bucks County Court House for existing programs as well as new programs as requested. 

We are very excited to also be supporting Autistic Support classes at the high school level for the first time. Approximately 25% of the classes we visit are specialized classes (Autistic Support, Multiple Disability, Learning Support, Emotional Support, Life Skills).  The pilot program with CB East High School Autistic Support classes is extremely successful. Teachers are already reporting what a positive effect having a dog present in class is having on the students. Roxy teams visit these classes once a week. To learn more about this program, please visit Student Specialized Support.

Enhancements were included in our new website this past year to support online parent permission slips and teacher request forms. Parent permission slips were returned much more quickly this year. So far, we have received 1,600 new parent permission slips online and these feed the data directly into Roxy's database. We have an additional 200 paper permission slips that were filled out manually due to parents not having access to a computer.  Teachers are reporting how easy it is to request a team online using the new form and be matched with a team.

Roxy Therapy Dogs Volunteers are considered mandated reporters by law and as such, all volunteers are provided Mandated Reporting training free of charge. This training is offered through a webinar created by the University of Pittsburgh.  To date, approximately 20% of the volunteers have completed the training, with a completion date of December 31. 

We have welcomed 18 new therapy dog teams this year.   We are always looking for new therapy dog teams as well as volunteers without dogs.  If you are interested in seeing the requirements for becoming a therapy dog team, please visit Volunteer With A Dog. To become a volunteer without a dog and get lots of furry loving from the dogs, please visit Volunteer Without A Dog.

Our Roxy teams are looking forward to creating many more wonderful memories with all of the children they visit! If you have any questions or comments related to any of our programs, feel free to contact me any time at sharon@RoxyTherapyDogs.org.


Sincerely,
Sharon Fleck, President