NorthPark career dayStart Date: 05/30/2019
HOPE AACR was requested to participate in the career day at NorthPark Elementary (where we responded 2 years ago following a school shooting). The counselor shared that they have been wanting the HOPE dogs to come back for a visit, but have had some challenges with getting authorization to have the dogs on campus and really wanted us here for this.
Working with the contact was challenging, with lots of changes in plans (reduced number of teams to 2 per shift-from 4) in spite of multiple phone calls and attempts to plan and educate.
Once on campus we did 20 minute presentations in assigned classrooms (discussion about HOPE and time for interacting with the dogs). Students in the upper grades had prepared questions for us! Some classes did not get scheduled to meet with the dogs (some due to allergies, others due to scheduling issues). The school did not plan time for staff to visit with the dogs (despite the suggestion) though many staff found ways to make time to interact with the dog. One teacher came back several times, sharing her story of meeting Daltrey when we deployed after the shooting. She disclosed that she had. Never been much of a dog person,and her husband was anti-pets, but following her interactions with Daltrey they went and adopted a dog the next week. 9I has heard this story from an acquaintance who volunteers t the shelter~but had never met the woman). Several staff brought up their memories of the dogs from the deployment, but interestingly none of the students mentioned the shooting.
When the afternoon teams were leaving, the principal (who was quite endorsed with Bagel) asked them to visit the kindergarteners (who did not get scheduled with the dogs), the teams agreed, despite being hot and tired.
Bari Boersma, grace Chen & Bagel, Cathleen McMurran & Fargo