California Educator

June/July 2019

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Page 35 of 63

" H AV I N G A F R I E N D like Levi is great," says the Willett Elementary School sixth-grader. "Levi listens. He doesn't tell you what to do or how to talk." As English language arts teacher Leslie Allen resumes class, Levi hops up onto a set of desks and surveys the room, tail wag- ging slightly as four hands quietly stroke and scratch his soft coat. Without a doubt the most beloved student in the class, Levi is an Australian shepherd — a therapy dog — whose talents go far beyond being cute and furry. L evi trots into the classroom from recess with a group of friends as Hayli Thomas explains how much he helped a few years back when she was recovering from brain surgery — everything from working on reading skills to sitting together at lunch. The magic of therapy dogs in schools By Julian Peeples Tails H a p p y 34 feature

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