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Learning is fun when Rusty’s on the school run

Therapy dog Rusty helps keep kids focused and committed in a range of school lessons. 

Therapy dog Rusty and Salvation Army Community Schools Worker Brigette Pritchett are continuing to positively impact children in rural and remote schools in South West NSW.

“Brigette and Rusty do great work with their amazing reading program, self-esteem workshops and breakfast clubs around the Riverina,” said Aux-Lieut Val Hopewell, Wagga Wagga Corps Officer.

“The feedback we have received from the schools visited is really encouraging.”

Teachers are asked to complete an evaluation of the program that Brigette and Rusty lead. At one school in Narrandera, where Brigette engages with over 40 children in the self-esteem program, feedback included:

“The program was extremely engaging for the children. Children were positively committed to each lesson.”

Children enjoy the programs led by Brigette in rural and remote schools.

“The engagement of the children with therapy dog Rusty, and the facilitator of the program, Brigette ... her rapport with the children was excellent. The children looked forward to these lessons each week.”

“Brigette and Rusty certainly had a great impact on the children, especially challenging students who often find it difficult to stay focused.”

“I was fortunate enough to observe most lessons, and Brigette did a fantastic job. All the students were positively engaged and eager for the session every week.”

At Marrar, a town in the central east of the Riverina region, Rusty and Brigette have a class of 17 students engaged. The teachers are happy with the way the program has helped resolve playground conflicts and disputes.

Students enjoy the challenges of Brigette’s workshops.

A primary school in Temora runs a breakfast club as part of the self-esteem program. This is a jointly funded collaboration between Wagga Wagga and Temora Corps.

The teacher responsible noted that “it helps students understand emotions in themselves and others and develop strategies to manage their emotions”.

Val congratulated Brigette and Rusty: “Well done on another amazing year of showing and modelling the love of Jesus to the kids in South West NSW.”

To read a previous story on Rusty and Brigette, click here.


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