Health & Wellness

Shongum Elementary School Brings In Therapy Dog to Help Students

May 15, 2014 at 11:05 PM

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph School System continues to show that it will do what it takes to accommodate their students. Nothing shows more proof than Shongum Elementary’s newest idea to bring a therapy dog to school.

Christine Fugger has been the school psychologist at Shongum since 2011. She works as a part of the Child Study Team as well, and helps determine whether a student qualifies for a special education. Fugger attended a webinar that Director of Special Services, Danielle Hamblin, held on therapy dogs.

After Fugger saw a particular student struggling, the idea of a therapy dog came to mind. “The idea came because some of our students basically needed a little boost,” said Fugger.

Sign Up for E-News

Fugger got in touch with Parks and Recreation Director, Russ Newman, through Hamblin, to start bringing a therapy dog to Shongum for Meola. Newman has been going to the school almost every Friday for the last two months for a half hour with his trusty therapy dog, Turner.

“The dog really, I think, indirectly helps them achieve in the classroom,” said Fugger. “Teachers have commented that the kids are more enthusiastic because they’re happier.”

Every Friday students are invited to the Therapy Dog Session to play with and pet Turner. The kids even hide doggie treats around the room so that Turner can search around to find them.

Turner has inspired Nicholas Meola so much in school that he even put together a PowerPoint presentation for his class project on therapy dogs. At their last session, the kids were able to learn more about what a therapy dog is with Meola’s presentation.

A therapy dog is a trained dog that provides affection and comfort to people. They can go to several locations like schools, hospitals, retirement homes, disaster areas and hospices. There are all types of therapeutic animals, not just dogs. Thia can include cats, bunnies, horses, llamas and even dolphins can all be a helpful form of treatment for individuals of any ages.

“I would say it helps you emotionally,” said Shongum student, Drew Glauberg.

This is exactly what a therapy dog is meant to do. The goal of these therapeutic animals is to improve a person’s social, emotional or cognitive function.

Turner was rescued from a kennel and is currently eight years old. He underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his neck in 2010 that kept him from becoming a therapy dog at an earlier age. After his recovery, Newman took Turner to an animal communicator who immediately knew that Turner wanted to become a therapy dog.

“The kids have just blossomed they seem so much happier. They come back from these sessions and they’re bouncing off the walls,” said Fugger. “Kids are more talkative. It just cheers them up all day long.

Turner has done a great job uplifting the students of Shongum. One student loves him so much that he has a picture of Turner on his desk.

The student that inspired the start of the Therapy Dog Sessions has drastically improved since the meetings began. Two months ago Meola was showing frustration adapting to some new challenges at school. Now coping has been easier thanks to Turner. He comes to school everyday looking forward to his Friday sessions with Turner.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Randolph's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday December 3

December 1, 2016

RANDOLPH, NJ- The community is invited to kick off the 2016 Holiday Season by attending Randolph’s annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The holiday celebration will take place at the community center, located at 30 Calais Road in Randolph.

Come on out and celebrate the holiday season with neighbors, friends and the Randolph Middle ...

Randolph Lions Club Fundraiser at Casa Da Pasta

November 30, 2016

RANDOLPH, NJ- On Tuesday Dec. 6 the Randolph Lions club will conduct a fund raiser at Casa De Pasta. At any time of the day, when you dine in or take out a meal, just mention 'Randolph Lions" and Casa Da Pasta will donate 10% of your bill to the club.

This is an easy way to help support the Lions and enjoy a great meal with no additional cost to you. 100% of all ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to do in Morristown this Weekend

December 3, 2016

MORRISTOWN, NJ-  Get ready for some holiday spirit! Music, gingerbread houses, movies, toy donations, holiday fairs, photos with Santa and much much more! Over 44 activities to keep you busy. If you are driving around looking at Holiday decorations, don't forget to submit your favorite to the JCP&L Merry & Bright Holiday Lights Photo Contest. Have a great weekend ...

Experience Adventure with Denville Venturing Crew 71

December 3, 2016

DENVILLE, NJ - Denville Venturing Crew 71 will hold an open house for teens from  the surrounding areas on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 8:00 am to 9:00 am at Denville Community Church (190 Diamond Spring Road in Denville).  Those who attend will learn what Venturing is all about including the leadership experiences, high adventure trips, community service efforts, and ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, December 7, 1:00 PM

Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall, Morristown

Race to the Finish: Newspaper Coverage of ...

Arts & Entertainment Other

Thu, December 8, 12:00 PM

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Morris Plains

Holiday Decorations at the Stickley Museum

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, December 8, 12:00 PM

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Morris Plains

Second Annual Holiday Shop at Craftsman Farms

Arts & Entertainment

Randolph High School Earns Special Olympics Award for “Play Unified” Program

December 4, 2016

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School was recognized as the NJ State Special Olympic Exemplary ‘Play Unified’ school at a recent ceremony.

Special Olympics unified schools program brings youth with and without intellectual disabilities together, through education and sports to create school communities of acceptance and respect.

“It was an incredible night, said Randolph ...

New Jersey State Baseball Umpires Association Cadet Class Registration

December 3, 2016

Bloomfield, NJ - The New Jersey State Baseball Umpire Association was founded in 1936 and is now 81 Years Old. The association consists of a dedicated group of men and women officials who are committed to the improvement of officiating Baseball and Softball games in our service area. We currently service Schools in Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Union Counties for High School Baseball ...

St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society Raffles Valuable Bracelet for Charity, Dec. 18

November 29, 2016

RANDOLPH, N.J--- Just in time for the holidays, the St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society - the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox church of St. Andrew - is offering a truly special raffle limited to 200 tickets to win a stunning Tiffany Olive Branch Cuff Bracelet, valued at $1,175. Drawing deadline is Dec. 18.

With a limited sale of 200 tickets at just $20 each, the odds ...

Art Exhibit and Sale by Local Artist in Denville

Randolph resident, Debra Kapnick, is exhibiting more than 25 pieces of artwork at Café Metro, 60 Diamond Spring Road, Denville, from now through January 28th, 2017.  Watercolors, pastels, and oil paintings are on display and available for immediate viewing and/or sale.  Many of the works have been inspired by beautiful local scenery and may be recognizable to hikers and nature ...

Observer PolitickerNJ to Hold Forum on Obama's NJ Impact on Dec. 9

JERSEY CITY, NJ - The first installment in the Top Minds Series presented by Observer PolitickerNJ and partially sponsored by will feature  academics from all over New Jersey and their assessment of  “The Legacy of President Barack Obama in New Jersey.”  

How have Obama's two terms impacted the Garden State? The event slated ...

"Move Today" Class Offered to Seniors

Move Today, a weekly exercise class for seniors, will be offered at Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center, 540 Route 10 West in Randolph beginning on Tuesday, January 10th from 1-2pm. 

Move Today is a 30-45 minute non-aerobic exercise class designed to improve flexibility, balance and stamina. Participants assess their health, physical well-being and intent to make behavior changes ...

Plyometric Chaos vs. Plyometric Purpose Two Very Different Paradigms on How to Build Explosive Athletes

Megan is a sophomore high school soccer forward who just finished a great season starting varsity. She played hard, contributed to her team and competed every single game against varsity competition. Megan is also a really passionate soccer player so as the season ends she brings up the conversation to her parents that she wants to get stronger and faster for next season. Her parents, open to the ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...