We wanted to share this guest post from Columbus Division of Police Community Liasion Officer Kelly Shay (8 Precinct, Franklinton). This week, we've been thrilled to sponsor Books & Badges events on three different days at Avondale Elementary, and Ofc Shay wrote to us about this one, which the CPD Therapy Dog Unit also attended. 💙 Thanks to the officers for participating. This would not happen without you!
Patrol Officers read to two different 1st grade classes. The officers were Jacob Pawlowski, along with his Recruit, Officer John Castillo, and Officer Nicholas Brienza.
These Officers really appreciated being given the opportunity to interact with the children and volunteered to come participate in the Event. Also accompanying the event was Officer John Gagnon & his partner Eddie, from the Therapy Dog Unit.
The kids were super excited & loved that they each got to take home their own copy of "If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School...Don't."
They especially enjoyed being able to interact with Eddie.
There was one particularly touching moment: While in the classroom for students with Special Needs, there was a little girl whose Grandmother has been wanting to get her a Therapy Dog. The little girl seemed like she wanted to pet Eddie, but every time a teacher would guide her towards him, she became scared & changed her mind. It was clear that she was unsure about the dog.
After a little while, watching all the other children pet Eddie & having fun, this little girl finally walked over & began to pet the dog.......She was thrilled!! I think this interaction with Eddie gave this little girl some confidence & reassurance about dogs. Hopefully, making it easier for her, should she get her own Therapy Dog.
~Ofc Kelly Shay