Back in January, a few students from Gomes Elementary School in New Bedford found out that another local district was getting a therapy dog. Knowing that their principal, Ms. Ellyn Gallant, loved dogs, the kids thought that Gomes could also have one.

These students range from the third to fifth grade and approached the teachers of a writing program through the school with their idea. Mrs. Cabral and Mrs. Furtado were key to making this a reality.

It was decided that the students would do a research project on certified therapy dogs and then write persuasive essays to convince Principal Gallant that this addition at Gomes would benefit all the students, faculty, and staff.

“I could not deny these children,” Principal Gallant said. “These essays were from the heart and we just had to make this happen. I keep the essays on my desk and look at them often, they are that touching.”

The next step was to create a video presentation for the superintendent to pitch why Gomes should have a certified therapy dog. Mrs. Furtado starts the video off by saying how hard the students worked on this project, proving that the research was done to provide evidence for their cause.

“Third, fourth, and fifth graders have worked on researching this project, writing about this project, sharing it, and together we put together this video in hopes that you will approve a therapy dog at Gomes school,” said Mrs. Furtado.

It was approved for the school to welcome a furry companion and they went to work to find a suitable match. As luck would have it, a former teacher, Ms. Catherine Olsen, is working as a handler for a lovable therapy dog named Mazie. Students' families signed permission slips to interact with Ms. Olsen and Mazie, a pedigree Golden Retriever. She now volunteers her time once a week at the school, allowing Mazie to provide comfort and emotional support to the students in need.

New Bedford Public Schools via Facebook

“We thank Ms. Olsen who has volunteered her time for a few hours a week for the betterment of our students,” said Principal Gallant.

New Bedford Public Schools via Facebook

These brave students expressed a need and put in the work to make their dream a reality. They should all be so proud of themselves for sharing their thoughts and ideas and taking the steps required to make their school a better place for all. Congratulations to Gomes Elementary School and those involved in making this happen. A job well done. You can read the persuasive essays for yourself below:

Gomes School Students Write Persuasive Essays to Get Therapy Dog

These brave students expressed a need and put in the work to make their dream a reality. They even made a video presentation to pitch the idea to the superintendent.