Peaches the poodle helps Ossining students end animal homelessness
Students in Ossining are celebrating today after a successful year working to end animal homelessness.
At the center of the Roosevelt Elementary School celebration is Peaches, a 3-year-old black standard poodle and a rescue. She's been part of the curriculum since 2018.
Peaches is so involved in school that she has a school leadership program in which kids learn about the connection between animal and human emotions.
Principal Nicole Nover says students who work with Peaches have seen big growth in reading.
"What you'll often see is kids reading to the dog. This is just a willing audience for their practice," she said.
Fifth grade teacher Brandon Beck adopted Peaches on Long Island in 2018 from North Shore Animal League.
North Shore Animal League has partnered with other organizations to create the Mutt-i-grees Social Emotional Learning Curriculum.
As part of that curriculum, Peaches teaches kids empathy while helping them stay happy and excited about learning. This year, she inspired students to create "Kids Helping Paws," a group dedicated to ending animal homelessness.
They also made over 800 dog toys to donate to the SPCA and ran a donation drive to help shelters.
Alex Niarhos, a student ambassador, won $500 in an essay contest to use toward helping animals.