Are you interested in having our dogs come to your school? We can do that in two different ways.
Since community service is the foundation of our organization we ask that your class/school/club do a little bit of fundraising for us. Not only will that money go toward purchasing more dogs but we have found that, in a school situation, the kids are that much more invested in our visit if they have personally contributed to a cause that they are passionate about. We ask for a minimum of $200 be raised. We have seen some great ideas come out of different schools, from chores around the house, making products to sell and one school asked the PTA to sponsor the event if the kids contribute to the school in a special way like patching books in the library or being Jr Tutors for the younger grades.
During our visit we can cover many different facets of what we do or focus on one aspect like the impact that dogs have on humans or we can focus on mental illness and the future of these amazing dogs. We have a wonderful group of Therapy Dog and Service Dog teams that travel to these events and make the visit fun and informative for all involved.
In-School Service Dog Program and Teen Advocate Training
The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs (TESSD) in Newtown, CT, is looking for private boarding schools as well as public schools that have a strong desire to support their students’ mental health by implementing our Teen Advocacy Program and committing to raise service dogs for the disabled.
TESSD offers exceptional Psychiatric Service Dogs to children and adults with psychiatric
disabilities such as PTSD, Severe Depression, or Severe Anxiety Disorders. We are one of the
only organizations that provides dogs to minors living with mental illness and we have a strong
commitment to making sure that chronically absent kids are able to get a service dog. No child should have a limited education because of a mental health disability that can be mitigated with a service dog. We would like to see attendance improved and college be part of their future.
At this time, our organization is fortunate to have wonderful Newtown teachers who volunteer
their time to raise and train our dogs. These amazing teachers take the dogs to school every day and home each night. They also bring the dogs to weekly training as well as after school activities with their families. The Service Dogs in Training go everywhere their raisers go and with that they become amazing animals that will be placed, free of charge, with someone in
In addition to the time our dogs have with their raisers, they also get to serve their community
and help break the stigma of mental illness with our Teen Advocates. Our Teen Advocates are an amazing group of kids that have committed to learning about mental health concerns affecting their peers. They attend 8 weeks of service dog handling classes as well as mental health courses so that they can then walk the halls with our dogs and offer peer to peer support. Not only do the kids open up about their stresses but they also get comfort from petting a dog. TESSD has had great success with this program. The Newtown school community has benefited greatly from having the dogs in the school and we know that kids are desperate for a way to talk about what is going on in their heads. Once we get kids talking, we succeed in eliminating the stigma associated with mental health issues.
The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and we rely on
donations to support our program.