COOL SCHOOLS: Madison Primary Center

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Dogs are helping students at Madison Primary Center learn every day.

Molly Dew mans the front office.

Moses, better known as Mo-Mo, and Cooper get to spend most of their time in classrooms.

Daisy calls the library her home and can always be found under a desk listening to a story.

“I like to read to her because she’s really cute and patient and calm and she doesn’t bite or bark,” said fourth grader Alejandra Alvardo.

Just down the hall while students work on their daily assignments, Mo-Mo scans the room.

“Everybody sits down and he falls into place and he’s become each of their responsibilities,” said Tracy Nicodemus, a second and third grades bilingual teacher.

Nicodemus said the students take responsibility for the pup’s care by taking him outside and watching over him.

She adds that Mo-Mo seems to be returning the favor for her ELL students.

“The biggest population is Hispanic, but they’re from Uzbekistan, Jordan and Indonesia, where that other language really isn’t spoken in the classroom, but they have that silent language with the animal,” said Nicodemus.

Even if just through a quick pet, the dog’s presence seems to comfort the kids and can even be a friend, if needed.

ABC 57 asked third grader Angel Diaz, "What's your favorite part of having Mo-Mo in school?”

Diaz answered, “That I mostly get to know Mo-Mo better and be his friend."

Nicodemus’s class has noticed success with testing and the theory is the dog is adding to the nurturing environment in the room.

“I wish every classroom could have one,” said Nicodemus.

Three of the dogs have permanent room assignments, while Cooper can be requested by any teacher to come to their classroom.

Tune in next week when ABC 57 visits Riverside Intermediate in Plymouth.

We’ll take you inside its S.O.L.E. Class, a self-organized learning environment, where students get to create projects based on their own interests.

You can see that on Tuesday, May 20th, on ABC 57 News starting at 5 a.m.

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