You are reading

Three Long Island City/Astoria public schools take part in city’s ‘Comfort Dog’ program

“Juno”, P.S. 76 in Astoria’s comfort dog (Juno76Q via Twitter)

Sept. 26, 2017 by Nathaly Pesantez

Children at three neighborhood schools will have their days made brighter by “comfort dogs” as part of an expanding Department of Education program for social and emotional wellness.

The program, launched last year in nearly 10 schools around the city, brings rescue dogs into classrooms to interact with students and staff, and aid in improving the school climate and social emotional learning.

The Riverview School, which serves special needs students at 1-50 51st Avenue in Hunters Point, and I.S. 204 at 36-41 28th Street, are the two Long Island City based schools participating in the the “Comfort Dog” program for the 2017 and 2018 school year. The third, P.S.76 at 36-36 10th Street in Astoria, is also part of the program. The three schools make up the 30 additional schools targeted in the program’s expansion.

“The Comfort Dog program brings a smile to students and staff on a challenging day, helps to de-escalate issues and can even provide bereavement support,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña in a statement. “We know students need academic and social-emotional supports to succeed in the classroom and beyond, and comfort dogs are helping nearly 40 schools strengthen their culture and build stronger relationships.”

The DOE says the rescue dogs chosen for the program are evaluated by the North Shore Animal League America. A staff member at each school adopts a dog, and a learning program, the Mutt-i-Gree curriculum, which focuses on shelter pets and emotional learning is provided for free. Schools can choose to apply to the program via the DOE’s Office of Counseling Support.

“A comfort dog is a counseling support,” said Jaye Murray, executive director of the Office of Counseling Support Programs in a statement. “They possess the two most important qualities of an effective social worker or counselor–unconditional acceptance and warmth.”

Staff at P.S.76 in Astoria took to Twitter to share photos of “Juno”, the school’s comfort dog, in action. The school also created a Twitter account for Juno, which Fred Acquavita, the school’s assistant principal, encouraged users to follow.

email the author: [email protected]

9 Comments

Click for Comments 
Anonymous

Comforts dogs, what if my kid is allergic to dogs. How about comfort pigs, they’re cute and when they get big they can have a BBQ. Or rabbits, fluffy and tasty, the kids can raise them all year then stew them, educational and delicious.

Reply
hooray dogs

I was a kid, in the early 80s, in the city, and my school had a class pet – (I also played with Squirrels in the park!) how is this different OR hipstery? I think it is great, and could also teach the children how to be kind to animals!

Reply
MRLIC

Oh great these HIPSTER children get friendly dogs to pet, when I was a kid I only got to pet the rabid stray dogs that I found behind dad’s bowling alley; I got mange three times.

Reply
sd

You’re clearly an idiot. This is not a school for hipster children, and even if it was, you’re still an idiot. Thanks.

Reply
MRLIC

Hey Troll, you can’t even lay off the post about helping special needs kids? You’re going to make a joke about disabled kids?

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.