Lauren Kim, a grade 11 student at Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School, just finished a math test.
She’s stressed from being in full-on exam mode, so she says sitting with some furry friends for a few moments is a nice break.
“This kind of helps you just de-stress and take all that stress away for a few minutes,” she said. “You can reset and feel like you’re ready and prepared to take it all on again.”
In December and June, animals from Khalizoo Zootherapy are brought here to the school in Westmount.
For a few hours a day, students are able to come into this room for pet therapy — a way to help them relax.
“It’s nice to just be with everyone, be able to see the animals, pet them, see that they’re super happy and it makes us happy and less stressed,” said grade 11 student Olivia Anderson.
Students say the pressure of exams can be overwhelming, so spending an hour with the animals before or after a test helps their morale.
“It’s a really nice surprise on most days to just have a bunch of dogs running around and you just get to play with them and de-stress a little bit,” said Kim.
The school implemented the program over a year ago.
Since then, the animals have been dropping by right before exams and because of its success, the school will soon be extending the program all year round.
ECS’s student counsellor says the animals are proving to help students decompress.
“I think it’s just something kind of different,” said Darlene Geic. “As opposed to the councillors or teachers talking about it, or doing different things in class, I think it brings a different energy level, something exciting.”