On Tuesday, August 27th, Mrs. Jacques, Dean of Student Services, emailed all students at Bedford High School and shared this photograph with them:
This 12-week-old mini goldendoodle, named Luna, is now at Bedford High twice a week (Wednesday and Thursday) to help students and faculty relieve some of the stress that accumulates now that the school year has started. When Luna is at school, students can sign in at the counseling office entrance and head towards the office and career center, where she will be.
Mrs. Jacques explains that her goal in bringing in this comfort dog is to “help them [students] relax. When you see her [Luna] and get to pet her and she’s happy to see you…I feel like it breaks down barriers instantly.” Jacques got the idea when her daughter, due to an unfortunate accident, was hospitalized during a family vacation. She elaborates that there were “multiple times where comfort dogs came in and it really made a difference as far as our experience in the hospital.”
Jacques was originally a counselor at Bedford, and from her experience working so closely with students, she believes having a comfort dog is great for many reasons. She emphasizes that “for some students, it is a great opportunity for them to get volunteer hours and be able to work and train Luna,” and for others, it helps students “get comfortable coming into the counseling office.” Freshmen are adjusting to high school, sophomores and juniors are preparing for standardized tests and taking difficult classes, and seniors are in the midst of college apps, so the fall season is definitely a stressful period of time and Luna is meant to help!
There is no doubt that students and faculty have already kindly welcomed Luna. Jacques explains that “my experience has been…far more than I can even imagine in a great way” in that over 20 students have registered to help train Luna during their managed times and many others have come in to visit Luna whenever they can.
It is Jacques’ first year as Dean of Student Services. Starting this new program with Luna is only one of the many new initiatives she hopes to roll out in her new position. Another initiative she is implementing this year is a new sophomore interaction program called Adventurelore. She plans on dedicating the entire year to “really chang[ing] the atmosphere [in the counseling office]…to improve on it and make it a really great experience for all students.” A new change in environment is coming to BHS, and it is starting with Luna.