This excerpt taken from schoolchoiceweek.com.
Sallie Hazelip describes the North Florida School of Special Education as “the happiest place on earth.”I think she’s right.
Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the North Florida School recently made news for welcoming a therapy dog to campus, every day, to provide care and support to students with intellectual differences.
The dog, named Zenbowie, “gives students a sense of calm when they are having a tough day,” even helping students gain the confidence to overcome fears such as entering crowded and loud rooms.
According to Ms. Hazelip, who is the head of school, staff and volunteers at the North Florida School are always looking for new ways to provide opportunities for students to succeed.
That’s why, in addition to bringing Zenbowie on board, the school owns and manages Berry Good Farms, a teaching farm for students complete with hydroponics, aquaponics, and an air-conditioned growing shed. They also run Barkin’ Biscuits, a vocational training program where students learn how to cook and also make dog treats. They have a robust music program run by teacher Ciaran Sontag. And they offer a community outreach effort that attracts 50 local volunteers – from business leaders to local college students – to the school each week.
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