15 November 2016
Whether it’s making pupcakes, hosting doggie breakfasts or simply holding a gold coin donation for our awareness month Dogtober, we’re always forever grateful here at Assistance Dogs Australia HQ. But when we heard about the lengths Gold Coast school St Andrews Lutheran College in Tallebudgera went to, we just had to share their story...
Local Assistance Dogs Australia volunteer Puppy Educator Mel and Super-Pup Oska were invited to help Year 6 students explore the topic of ‘Assistive Animals’ for their PYP Exhibition. (PYP is the name given to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.) Students interviewed Mel about how Assistance Dogs affect personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health. The six students pictured (From left: Jack, Eliza, Lily, Elisabeth, Lilian, Tanah and Super Pup Oska) then curated a creative and informative exhibition to educate the whole school community about the benefits of Assistance Dogs for people with disabilities.
For the ‘action’ component of their studies, the students decided to raise funds and awareness by participating in Dogtober. They organised a ‘Dog Tales’ creative writing competition for Years 5 and 6, plus a drawing competition about ‘Dogs helping people’ for younger students. Funds were raised by requesting a gold coin donation per entrant.
All the entries were fantastic! The stories were read to judges Oska and Mel who took some time to chew over the all-important decisions. Finally the winners were announced…
First prize went to Jiya Donaldson for her story about Assistance Dog Gus, who helps a paraplegic by picking up dropped items, alert barking until the police respond and generally takes responsibility for the man's safety.
Second prize was shared by Scarlett Thorpe and Eve Nussey. Scarlett’s story about Molly and Pepper the dog looks at depression, while Eve’s story about a girl called Charli and a dog named Lucky, explores the role of Puppy Educators.
To read the prize-winning stories, head to our Facebook page.