WHAT OUR HOST TEACHERS ARE SAYING!
“I truly do not think there is enough time in my lifetime to fully express how much Kerrigan and Cathy Guenzel have made a difference in my classroom this year. As I type this, I am preparing the room for our “Last Day with Kerrigan” celebration. For our celebration, each student will be receiving a bound book of all their writing which was inspired by Kerrigan this year. From imagining what Kerrigan would wear for Halloween, to writing about him taking a trip to see Santa on the Polar Express, to a Tall “Tail” that involved Kerrigan wrestling rattlesnakes and wild monkeys in Brazil—he inspired it all. Cathy will be presented with a complete book of their work and pictures I took. The book is about 3 inches thick. Not only did he and Cathy inspire my students writing and reading confidence, he also inspired their hearts. One of my favorite quotes is from Aristotle:” Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” No one embodies this quote more than Cathy and Kerrigan. I have students in my class that suffer emotionally and/or mentally due to attention issues or an inner battle with depression and anxiety. Kerrigan has eased their little minds and given them something to look forward to each week. There were days where Cathy would turn to me with a smile and say, “I don’t think we’ve gotten much work done!” and I’d reply, “What you’re doing is more important than the worksheet they need to complete.” She and Kerrigan successfully touched their hearts and minds each week with compassion, dedication and love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for finding the perfect match for my special little group of children, and I look forward to continuing to work with this fantastic team.”
(KC – Richboro Elementary, Council Rock)
“Your program is priceless! Each year I have seen my lower reluctant readers grow into confident readers. Priceless! Today, as we were sitting in a group in our reading center, a student stated, “Marley is a good listener, and Miss Tricia is a good teacher.” Priceless! I asked the group what their favorite thing about Marley was – all answered, “Reading to her!” Priceless! The program has also motivated my students to be excited about writing. During the year I take pictures of Marley and the students. Then the students use the pictures as prompts to write in their journals. It’s amazing how the non-writers become writers when they start writing about Marley. Priceless! My students LOVE to escort Marley, to pet Marley, to read to Marley, to write about Marley, and to read their written stories to Marley! Priceless! Thank you for allowing us to participate in your wonderful program.” (DG – Goodnoe, Council Rock)
“There was one child in my class who was having difficulty being a flexible thinker and would often become frustrated. Throughout the year, I worked with this student to use strategies to help him become unstuck. On one occasion early in the school year, the student was “stuck,” and Laila had just entered the classroom. The student reluctantly went over to Laila to read to her. After having some time to chill out and pat Laila, he became more positive in his thinking and was able to enjoy the rest of the day. Throughout the school year, Laila became a positive influence for this student, and in turn, he made great gains in becoming a more flexible thinker and controlling his frustration independently.” (LS – The Center School, Abington)
“Michele Lecker and her therapy dog have been a wonderful asset to our school and students. On the days they visit, the entire mood of the school changes. It can be an emotionally rough day for some students which often affects the entire school. When Michele and Rory are present, there is a sense of peace and tranquility. It is truly amazing to see the transformation. One of our students who was working on her graduation project changed her topic halfway through to do her project on therapy dogs. She did a wonderful presentation, completed a brochure, and was very enthusiastic about the project.” (JH – The Sloan Alternative School, Council Rock)
“Our students have struggled with significant personal issues this year, including eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, depression, family illness, lack of academic motivation, etc. Mrs. Grossman and Blu’s visits helped brighten the day of students who otherwise have real difficulty connecting with others. There are several students who would light up with Blu’s presence. One student struggled with severe anxiety and depression this year, but Blu’s visit was the one time when this 17 year old would smile and become engaged with the class. It was amazing to witness the transformation.” (SG/LR – Council Rock High School -South)