Woodstock News

Woodstock Students Art Show - Call for Art

The Woodstock Artists Association and Museum ( WAAM) is inviting all students from Woodstock Elementary to contribute a piece of art they have made of their own choosing that they are proud of for an exhibition in our Youth Exhibition Space Gallery. We wanted to share with the community a glimpse into the reality of students who are adapting and creating during these unprecedented times. We also want to celebrate the families that have had to completely change their relationship to their children’s education.  Amazing Artists Show - Click for details

 

 

Donation from local Orthodontist

A local dentistry practice, Sunshine Orthodontics, is proof that there’s more than one way to put smiles on children’s faces. The group recently donated $1,000, along with two backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies, to Woodstock’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Woodstock Grade 2 teacher Erika Parisian helped secure the donation by entering—and winning—a contest sponsored by Sunshine. “I presented the check to the Woodstock PTA at their first meeting of the new school year, and I assured them I would get the backpacks to students in need,” said Mrs. Parisian. The PTA supports afterschool programs, special events, and other enrichment activities for students. Pictured are Dr. Ahmed Mansour (center), Ms. Parisian (second from right), and members of the Sunshine Orthodontics team. Thank you, Sunshine Orthodontics and Mrs. Parisian, for supporting our students!

A local dentistry practice, Sunshine Orthodontics, is proof that there’s more than one way to put smiles on children’s faces. The group recently donated $1,000, along with two backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies, to Woodstock’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Woodstock Grade 2 teacher Erika Parisian helped secure the donation by entering—and winning—a contest sponsored by Sunshine. “I presented the check to the Woodstock PTA at their first meeting of the new school year, and I assured them I would get the backpacks to students in need,” said Mrs. Parisian. The PTA supports afterschool programs, special events, and other enrichment activities for students. Pictured are Dr. Ahmed Mansour (center), Ms. Parisian (second from right), and members of the Sunshine Orthodontics team. Thank you, Sunshine Orthodontics and Mrs. Parisian, for supporting our students!

Picture of Tank with Students

What’s a four-legged, tail-wagging bundle of fun doing at Woodstock Elementary School? Becoming a valuable, well-loved addition to the school community, of course!

Tank, a 22-pound certified therapy dog owned by Onteora Occupational Therapist Michele Darling, began visiting the school in January.

What’s a four-legged, tail-wagging bundle of fun doing at Woodstock Elementary School? Becoming a valuable, well-loved addition to the school community, of course!

Tank, a 22-pound certified therapy dog owned by Onteora Occupational Therapist Michele Darling, began visiting the school in January. On his first day of school, the ebullient Boston terrier was the guest of honor at several grade-level assemblies. “First we talked to the students about how to introduce yourself to a dog and to let him sniff you to get to know you,” Ms. Darling recalled. “Then we talked specifically about Tank.” 

              Ms. Darling, who adopted Tank in June, had him certified through TDI (Therapy Dogs International) to ensure he would interact safely with children. “He had to pass a test, and I had to pass a written test,” she explained.

In addition to being friendly, patient, and gentle, therapy dogs should not startle easily, she noted. Tank, she reported, passed the TDI test with flying colors. “He loves kids, and he loves people,” she said. “He also loves to ride on my motorcycle.”

When Tank is at school—approximately once a week—his presence is announced by a poster emblazoned with the message “Tank is in the house!” (The message on the flip side of the poster says “Tank is home resting.”) The excitement in the building on the days when Tank is visiting is palpable, Ms. Darling said.

So far, most of Tank’s appearances outside of the Occupational Therapy room have taken place during recess or at lunchtime. “We also use him as a reward for good behavior, and to comfort children if they need it,” Ms. Darling said. When a child recently tripped and fell, for example, Tank quickly managed to banish the student’s tears.

Katie, a Grade 3 student, is one of Tank’s many fans. “He’s so adorable!” she exclaimed while petting the pooch during a recent visit with Ms. Darling. Katie, like the rest of the student population, has learned that when Tank is happy, he makes a low guttural sound—much like a purring cat. “The kids love it when they pet him in just the right spot and get his happy sound!” Ms. Darling said.

 Proof of Tank’s popularity is also evidenced by the many dog-inspired drawings displayed near Ms. Darling’s room. Many children who had previously been afraid of dogs now count Tank as a friend, according to Ms. Darling.

Therapy dogs have been shown to have a range of benefits in educational settings, Ms. Darling noted.  Among these benefits are helping to reduce stress and anxiety, and increasing children’s excitement about attending school.

“We are still new at having a therapy dog so we don’t know what direction we will go with him, but right now the main thing that I can say is that he definitely puts a smile on the kids’ faces when they walk in the door,” Ms. Darling concluded. “I can also tell you that Tank loves to come to school and is always in a good mood (but exhausted) after a school day.”