Categorized | Education & Safety, News

Half a Smile

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By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Millington Elementary School Pre-K Teacher Cathy Garrett and the trainers from Furnace Creek Farm brought llama Pearl Emily to the school March 31 to visit Eagle Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students.
“We’re incorporating with the reading program the letter L week all last week,” Garrett said. “We talked about all the characteristics of a llama everyday so they would be ready come Monday.”
Garrett developed the idea back in October and wanted to make the llama’s visit the conclusion to “L” week for the students after reading about the 12th letter in the alphabet.
“A lot of these children don’t have anything like that,” Garrett noted. “A lot of them haven’t been to the zoo before. I thought it could be something real life coming out of a book, actually come to them.”
Pearl Emily is a part of the Mid-South Therapy Dogs and Friends,  a 501(c)3 Nonprofit charitable organization that is devoted to providing all people, young and old, the opportunity to experience this magic of the human-animal bond. It’s an organization of volunteers who provide animal-assisted interactions in health care facilities, schools, libraries, and youth facilities throughout the Mid-South.
Trainers Tori and Michael Hawk taught the children about Pearl Emily and gave the students a chance to rub Pearl’s neck. The llama was born March 9, 2005 and now weights 350 pounds. The children learned llamas only have teeth on the bottom of their mouths. Pearl proved she liked hugs and lying on the grass as children greeted her. The llama met 14 Millington Elementary classes throughout the morning. Then Pearl Emily paid a visit to E.A. Harrold Elementary before heading to a senior home.
“All we can say is a big thank you for doing this for children and when they bring the dogs out twice a month,” Garrett said. “They have really helped the school out quite a bit.
“A lot of the kids even won’t pet a dog, but they pet that big thing,” she concluded. “I think it’s so beautiful.”
For more information on Mid-South Therapy Dogs visit www.midsouththerapydogs.org
Llama visit 1 llama visit 2 Llama visit 3 Llama visit 5 Llama visit 6 Llama visit 7 Llama visit class

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