Jake, a 5 year old Labrador Retriever, is Iredell-Statesville Schools' one and only Certified Therapy Dog. Jake works primarily at Pressly School, but travels to other schools and makes visits throughout the community. He is always accompanied by his "handler," Mr. Billy Manners. These two are inseparable, but that is part of their training. Jake joined the staff at Pressly during the 2018-2019 school year. Everyone LOVES Jake and many have asked about his story, what he does to help students, and even how they can help. Please continue reading this page to find out everything you would want to know about Jake and be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the page.
How Does Jake Help?
- He helps get students in the school by greeting them as they arrive each day.
- Students have built a relationship with Jake which has helped increase student attendance because they want to come to school to see him.
- Students choose "time with Jake" as their earned reward for making good choices and good behavior.
- He can dissolve an emotional or behavioral crisis in a matter of minutes.
- Reading with Jake increases confidence and courage for struggling or hesitant readers.
- Jake's presence has allowed us to see unprecedented changes in behavior and mood in our students.
- Jake's visible scars and signs of abuse have enabled students to open up and share their own stories of abuse with him and adults.
- Students build a trust relationship with Jake which then, in turn, leads to better trust relationships with the adults at school.
- Jake's presence in a room, can in itself, change the atmosphere.
- Jake visits with hospitalized students and staff.
- His display of obedience sparks conversations and lessons with the students about their own obedience/disobedience.
- Caring for Jake starts conversations with students about their own responsibility of self-care and hygiene.
- Jake's presence has encouraged good problem-solving habits in students as they strive to make good choices.
- Students look forward to Jake checking in on them and their class daily.
- Jake is checking in on students and classes in other Iredell-Statesville Schools too.