Halifax school brings in mentor dogs to help students and staff

These cute pups are boosting spirits and helping children learn at a Calderdale school.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:08 pm
Cockapoos Monty, left, and Orla at Halifax Academy, with students Aaren Pang and Laiba Hussain.

Cockapoo siblings Monty and Orla are bringing smiles to the faces of students and staff at Halifax Academy by offering cuddles and lending a furry ear.

Their gentle and sociable temperaments make the animas ideal dog mentors, having a calming and positive effect on those they work with.

Monty works in the secondary building, where he has been named “The Happiness Dog”, and his sister works in the primary phase.

The school says having the dogs gives children a sense of calm and wellbeing from the companionship and time spent with Monty and Orla, develops nurturing and social skills, empathy and a sense of responsibility, and improves behaviour and attendance.

Dogs have also been shown to support and encourage struggling young readers, with some children more comfortable reading to dogs than to their peers.

Halifax Academy’s Nadia Lanovy said: “Having Monty and Orla has certainly raised the happiness levels in school.

"The students look forward to seeing Monty’s wagging tail on duty every morning and we have a steady flow of staff members visiting him throughout the day for a quick cuddle and an energy boost – his enthusiasm and zest for life are infectious!

“His warmth and sweet nature have definitely lifted spirits and even dried a tear or two!”