A four-legged counselor has made her way to Glenwood Ridge Elementary School in Basehor, Kansas.
Her name is Google and the two-year-old black lab is a facility dog.
“Google and I see a lot of kids who are dealing with anxiety issues and so we teach coping skills to help get them through their day,” school counselor Wendy Cook said.
Google who was trained by the Kansas Specialty Dog Service (KSDS), works with Cook, helping students with their social skills.
"She helps me teach character lessons, she helps me in individual and group counseling. She just makes kids feel great about themselves. She offers unconditional love and acceptance. It just helps them get through the stress of their day,” Cook said. “Kids are under so much stress these days and Google and I see a lot of kids who are dealing with anxiety issues."
To lower that anxiety, Google interacts with the students to help them be more confident in the classroom and take on the school day.
“Google brings joy to everyone's faces,” fifth grader Cole Borders said. “She just makes everyone happy. If you're having a bad morning, she really cheers you up when you're ready to learn."
“Say you’re in the car line, she’s out there with Ms. Cook, you’re dragging because it’s a Monday, but then you see Google and it just makes you happy,” fifth grader Nash McCarty said.
From the classroom visits, to the counselor’s office, Google interacts with several students both at Glenwood Ridge Elementary and Linwood Elementary.
“She’s like a bridge to reach children,” Cook said. “She really helps build report if kids feel uncomfortable coming to the counselor. So they're able to share their feelings a lot easier."
KSDS does not charge for the dogs, and is a non profit organization that depends on donations.
Cook says it’s something she and the district are very thankful for.
And how did Google get her name?
KSDS has themes each year for the litter. This year’s theme was the Internet.
If you’d like to more about KSDS facility dogs, click here.
Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.