Goldendoodle set to become part of Coloma’s guidance counselor staff
COLOMA, Mich. — He’s the newest employee at Coloma Junior High and requires lots of naps and frequent snack breaks, but he’s here to make it easier for kids to get reacclimated with the classroom.
Tank is a goldendoodle who was born just 11 weeks ago and has been at Coloma Junior High for less than half that time, but he’s already popular.
“It’s already had a huge impact on our staff, it’s been a really nice way for them to decompress,” said Wendy Tremblay, Principal at Coloma Junior High School.
As students and staff get used to being back in-person, there’s still that added stress of the pandemic, so they’re not cutting corners when it comes to mental health at Coloma.
“In the mornings we walk the halls with the kids, I take him into the cafeteria for lunch and he plays outside with him at recess, then eventually we will take him into the classrooms,” said Celeste Wyatt,
Guidance Counselor at Coloma Junior High School.
Kids can learn valuable skills from Tank by walking him outside, taking time with him when they’re overwhelmed, and, he is a great partner on schoolwork.
“Dogs are nonjudgmental and kids don’t feel pressure or like they have to please somebody and reading to dogs is an excellent way to boost kids’ self esteem,” said Wyatt.
Once Tank becomes a certified service dog, he’ll be an official member of the guidance counselor staff.
The goal is for him to have a long career at Coloma.
“Any age group, district or office setting could benefit from this, it makes a huge difference in stress levels, it gives us something to laugh about when the days are difficult,” said Tremblay. “It’s time consuming, especially for Ms. Wyatt, but it’s something she’s willing to take on and we’re grateful.”