Union County News

How One Dog Has Aided Dozens in Early Childhood Development

9b8f359541e48feeaff3_Timber_Portrait-p1.jpg
701bd6bbd193dc573e6a_Timber_Portrait-p4.jpg
745f2db73f6cad1d92fd_Timber_Portrait-p2.jpg
e2a37b233fd5ede03f7a_Timber_Portrait-p3.jpg
2b7620646338b99e9de4_Timber_Portrait-p5.jpg
9b8f359541e48feeaff3_Timber_Portrait-p1.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — About a year ago, educators at Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center in Berkeley Heights pursued a grant to welcome a young Australian Labradoodle into their classrooms. At the forefront of this program was Ms. Anne Corley-Hand, the principal of MKM.

“After attending a workshop on the Benefits of Therapy Dogs in Schools, I made the decision to adopt a second dog. I reached out to Stefani Whiteman at Ocean State Labradoodles to begin the adoption process. We welcomed Timber into our home on July 4 and he began his 'work' at the Early Childhood Center in early July,” said Corley-Hand.

As the principal of MKM and the owner of Timber, the young Labradoodle, Ms. Corley-Hand became the face of the movement to train Timber and introduce him to the students. She began by composing a grant proposal, seeking money from the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation to help train Timber as a therapy dog.

Sign Up for E-News

Ms. Corley-Hand added, “We have found Timber’s presence to elicit language and promote play skills with the district’s youngest students. I am incredibly fortunate that our Superintendent, Judy Rattner and the Board of Education are supportive of innovative programs and look forward to the continued escapades of Timber the Dog.”

Thanks to Lisa Plocinski, of On The Ball Dog Training, who worked directly with Timber, he was able to complete training and begin his work as a therapy dog at Mary Kay McMillin.

With only one year under Timber’s belt as a therapy dog, it is abundantly clear that not only was this a beneficial allocation of funding, but the improvements in student behavior suggest that this method should be introduced in schools nationwide. Ms. Corley-Hand has received countless testimonials from parents and students alike, thanking Timber for the comforting atmosphere he has provided for students with anxiety, autism, and learning disorders.

Allison Harris, whose daughter Ava suffers from anxiety, wrote, “ I honestly do not know how this year would have gone if not for Timber. As a full-time working mom, to know that Timber was there to help soothe her anxiety and fears, calmed my nerves and made me feel safe. If it was not for Timber, my daughter would not have been able to concentrate in class, have the confidence to experience new things and meet new people.”

Each morning, students crowd around Ms. Corley-Hand and Timber in the lobby. Even Mario Hernandez, a student coping with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder joins in every morning. Typically Mario struggles with social situations, especially in large, crowded rooms and noisy environments.

However, Lisa Hernandez, Mario’s mother noted otherwise after her son’s experience with Timber.

She said, “Seeing Timber instantly pulls Mario out of the internal world in which he spends so much of his time. The crowd of children that converges on Ms. Corley and Timber in the mornings never bothers Mario. He is perfectly content to sit right in the middle of a noisy, bustling group of kids that he would never tolerate under any other circumstance.”

With so many success stories, Timber has shed a light on how therapy dogs can help young kids transition through school, cope with social challenges, anxiety, and so much more.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9dfe479f2225ac340f97_dinosaurs

Tue, June 19, 6:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Field Station Dinosaurs

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_a06540d90fee040ea766_storymakers_june

Wed, June 20, 4:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Story Makers

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus Launches 19th Summer Sing ...

Arts & Entertainment

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 18, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

North Plainfield Mom Maggie Grabko Gets Life-Saving Liver Transplant, Warren Fundraiser Set for Sunday

June 18, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ — Maggie Grabko, a North Plainfield mom of two, underwent a successful liver transplant on June 13, according to an update on the family’s GoFundMe page by her husband, Shawn Grabko. The Watchung Hills Elks are hosting a fundraiser, the Maggie Grabko Dinner and Music Fundraiser, at 1 Elks Trail in Warren on June ...

SRO'S - ENSEÑANDO POR EJEMPLO

June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Empleando Nuestra Juventud 

Querido Plainfield, 

Todos esperan el verano; los días son más calientes y largos, y la madre tierra se pone su mejor vestido mientras las frutas se maduran en el sol y las flores ondean un alegre "hola". La gente comienzan los paseos de la playa o piscina, y las juntas de barbacoa en los patios son necesarios en los fines de semanas.

Aquí en la ciudad de ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...