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District News - Buckles' Page

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Buckles in his training backpack    Buckles in his red working vest

Buckles joined the Schoharie Central School staff on July 2, 2012. He is a social therapeutic classroom assistance dog awarded to SCS after the school received the most votes in the 2012 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow grant competition. He's wearing his training vest in the photo at left. Now a proud graduate, he wears a red vest when working.

 

 

Barks from Buckles

Some pupdates!

Buckles with his tennis ball       

 

 

July 22, 2014

I've been taking a break from my on-campus work, enjoying some down-dog time, as my yoga friends would say. Summer is fun, but school will be here before we know it!

 Buckles        

July 8, 2014

I recently enjoyed a visit from Quinn, who is SCS faculty member Jenn Bellen's daughter. I'm thinking she is a true Buckles fan!

 

Buckles          Buckles

June 19, 2014

Today I attended the graduation ceremony in Ms. Haverly's Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom and was I in for a surprise: the students sang a song called "There's a Dog in My School!" The children now go on to kindergarten, and I hope to see them next fall.

 

 

June 12, 2014

I've been spending a lot of time in the high school, where I can cheer up students (and staff) as they tackle final projects and exams.

 

May 29, 2014

UPK 

I visited with preschool children today, including these students in the UPK classroom. They tell me UPK means Universal Pre-Kindergarten, but I think it means Universally Positive Kids! Thanks for all of the hugs!

 

May 22, 2014

Buckles votes 

I may be too young to vote, but I know the importance of participating in the school budget process. Thank you to all who came out to the polls on May 20!

 

May 1, 2014

Buckles and baby chicks

Despite the cold weather, there are many signs in and around our Schoharie schools that spring is really here.

Last week, I helped welcome some brand new friends—Old English Game Bantam chicks—into the world! On April 23, ten chicks hatched in an incubator in Special Education Teacher Mara Staffield's elementary classroom. Just like mother hens, students and staff in the class cared for the eggs as the chicks grew—keeping them warm and protected for 21 days, and even calling them into the world with "chirps" and "peeps" as they began to emerge.

The chicks are now living on a local farm where they can forage and grow into the show birds they'll become.

 

April 17, 2014

It's spring break week for the students, but I'm not taking a break from practicing my skills as a friend and helper to students and staff at Schoharie School - I mean as a social therapeutic classroom assistance dog. Boy, that's a long job title for something that never feels like work!

 

April 10, 2014

Buckles during fire drill 

Even though the noise from the alarms hurt my ears, I know how important it is to leave the building quickly and wait quietly during school fire drillslike the one we had this afternoonalong with my friends at Schoharie Elementary School.

 

March 20, 2014

Buckles visits with Emily the Lamb

I love coming to school each dayI learn so much from the students I visit with and am always meeting new friends. On Monday, I had the pleasure of meeting a brand new four-legged teacher Emily, a snowdown lamb who was born in February at Hessian Hill Farm, which Jess Goblet (a 2005 Schoharie graduate and, now, substitute teacher) and her family run in Berne, N.Y.

I was a little nervous about meeting someone new (even Buckles can feel shy and uncertain sometimes!), but after a few minutes we were happily playing together.

During her visit, Emily and Jess taught the students and staff about what happens on their farm and helped us all understand just how gentle—and "white as snow"little lambs truly are.


March 13, 2014

On Monday morning when the heat wasn't working correctly, I kept the elementary students company in the warm high school while they waited for their buses to go home early. I couldn't loan them my toasty fur coat, and I'm not allowed to take my vest off, because it's my service dog uniform. Today, I greeted a new class of preschoolers who are joining us at Schoharie Central. Such fun!

 

March 6, 2014

I've been hanging out in the high school student lounge. Good behavior has its privileges, even for therapeutic classroom dogs, and particularly for those who have gone from student to graduate: I am a proud alumnus of National Education for Assistance Dogs (NEADS).

in student lounge


March 6, 2014

I also shared some advice with basketball team members Kelsey Hayes, Amber Storm and Desiree Palmatier.

with basketball players


February 27, 2014

I've been sharing some basketball tips with Assistant Coach Karker.

with Mr. Karker

 

February 20, 2014

I'm enjoying a break from school this week, but as always, I have to keep my skills sharp, so I practice with my family and friends.

 

January 16, 2014

The high school has kept me busy lately, and I've been spending most of my time helping Ms. Jacobsen and the students there.

Buckles

 

December 30, 2013

The Elementary School had a door decorating contest and we thought this was a perfect place to take our holiday photo. We wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Buckles and friends 

December 9, 2013

At the end of November, students in Mr. Scofield's and Ms. Staffield's classes participated in a special Thanksgiving luncheon, and so did I. Similar to the first Thanksgiving, the students shared special food together at a large table, and of course shared some with me. One students commented: "I'm excited about Thanksgiving! Buckles is excited too!" Yes, I was!

Buckles tugs

November 21, 2013

One of the tasks I can assist with is opening doors, like I'm demonstrating here. I recently got to know the students in Mrs. Hallenbeck's class at the elementary school, but I didn't have to help them with the door.

 

October 10, 2013

I've been reading with the Kindergarten students, and also spending some time with the high school students. I'm earning my keep.

 

September 26, 2013

hug

Today is Jr. High Pep Rally day, and I may have to add a cheer. Or not - I'm trained to be polite and quiet in school. But it sure would be fun! I may be busy giving a hug, however.

 

September 19, 2013

There are at least three books about me on campus now that were created right here. Substitute teacher Meghan Gigandet developed "Buckles Goes to the Zoo," "Buckles' Day Out" and "Buckles Goes to School" as fun and interactive ways to build math, reading and sensory skills. Next in the series: "Buckles Goes Camping!"

book             book

 

September 12, 2013

I'm meeting more students in a program that is new to me in the high school. I hope to have pictures soon, as I like working with the big kids, too!

 

September 5, 2013

Buckles at Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School Senior Assembly    Buckles at Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School Senior Assembly    Buckles at Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School Senior Assembly

Today was the first day of school, and I was so excited to see all of the students. I visited a classroom, saw some old friends and made new ones. In the afternoon, I went to the high school senior assembly, where I was a real hit!

 

July & August, 2013

In between days at school, I've been enjoying my summer, including riding on the boat, swimming and spending time with my family. Not to worry, though; I've been practicing my training and am keeping my skills sharp.

 

June 20, 2013

Buckles resting

My first school year at Schoharie Central is almost over. The people here were setting up the gym for graduation and needed the chair that I like to sleep under when I'm not with students. I guess this one will do for now.

June 13, 2013 

Buckles and Zach    Buckles tugging open a door   Buckles and Zach

It was raining pretty hard today, but my friend Zach still took me outside for my walk, as well as walking me inside the school. I was able to show off my skills, including tugging open a door, standing up, bowing, and turning lights on and off. I also know how to give hugs, and stick out my tongue at the camera!

Buckles and Zach   Buckles and Zach   Buckles and Zach

 

I'm also pretty good at "sitting pretty," particularly when a treat is involved!

Buckles

 

 

 

June 6, 2013 

I've been busy visiting students in all grades lately. My friend Zach also took me to visit the 4-H club, where I taught the members how to play ball. 

 

 

 

May 21, 2013 

Today is school budget voting day. I encourage all the people to participate in voting. Unfortunately, I, as a canine, cannot.

 

 

 

April 12, 2013

 Buckles resting 

Even hard-working social therapeutic classroom dogs take a break every now and then. I've been busy these past few weeks visiting with children, shaking paws with staff and spending time with students from both the Elementary and High School.


 

 

March 7, 2013

with visiting students   with visiting student

I have a lot of visitors here at Schoharie School! And I am very popular with staff as well.


 

February 14, 2013

Buckles and friends on Valentine's Day 2013 

Happy Valentine's Day! I can't eat chocolate, but I loved the valentine the children made for me. One of them told me, "Buckles is awesome because he is fun to play with. I like to visit Buckles at the end of the day."



January 30, 2013

Buckles birthday with friends 

I recently celebrated my second birthday with some of my friends from Schoharie Elementary School!

Buckle's birthday celebration                         Buckle's birthday celebration



January 10, 2013

Playing in the snow

I'm an active dog and love to play in the snow during recess. Students sometimes take me for walks outside as a reward for their good schoolwork and behavior.

 

 

 

 

January 4, 2013

Guest reader

Mary Sherman visited Mrs. O'Brien's first grade class as a guest reader, and I got to participate (by listening; I didn't bring a book!). The Guest Reader program helps Schoharie Elementary students learn to read and understand stories and promotes an early love of books.

Guest reader

 

 

 

 

December 13, 2012

Visiting with Dru

Dru stopped by on Dec. 11 to visit, and I just had to tell her all about my job at school. Since she has a dog at home, I also knew she'd appreciate a kiss.

 

 

Buckles listens as a student reads

Listen and learn: I'm listening closely as a student reads during a 5th grade class. As a service dog, good listening skills are a very important part of my job. Now if I could only read books . . .

 

 

 

November 18, 2012

at graduation at NEADS   with sister at NEADS

NEADS Graduation: I completed my service dog training earlier this year at the National Education for Assistance Dogs (NEADS) organization in Massachusetts, and on Nov. 18, I took part in a formal graduation ceremony there with Ms. Nevulis. It was inspiring, as many people were part of my education and helped me to be successful.

I also met my younger sister there. We both have the same father, named Jackson. She is in training at NEADS, so I gave her some pointers (information, that is, not dogs).

 

 

November 15, 2012

I'm busy helping children learn lots of things, including how to be good students, good listeners and good friends. It's a great job!

 

 

November 8, 2012

Buckles

Was I ever that small? I think this visitor was even too young for Kindergarten!

Buckles with modified soccer team 

I'm thinking of joining the boys modified soccer team.

 

 

Chelsea and Buckles

October 11, 2012

"Chelsea Visits Buckles" - By Chelsea and Mrs. Borst
Chelsea had a great day so she earned time with Buckles. Mrs. Francis and Chelsea went to Mrs. Nevulis' office
to pet Buckles. Buckles was sleeping. Chelsea said, "Hello Buckles, how are you doing?" Buckles woke up and walked
over to Chelsea. Buckles has a quiet mouth. He did not bark at Chelsea. Buckles had quiet paws. He did not touch
Chelsea until Chelsea asked him to shake. Chelsea likes to visit Buckles and his quiet mouth and paws. The End.

 

 

 

 

 

October 4, 2012

with pumpkins

I was the subject of some more essays by Schoharie Elementary students, who were asked to write about pets:

"I pet Buckles. He is soft. We can play with him. And Buckles does tricks." - Joseph
"Buckles is funny. He does tricks. When I say up he hugs me.
" - Ethan

 

 

September 27, 2012:

Emma and BucklesEmma, Mrs. Smithgall, BucklesI had a fun visit with Emma, who's in third grade at Schoharie Elementary, and Mrs. Smithgall, a teaching assistant. Emma wrote this short essay about me, using a neat tool called a Perkins Braille Writer:

"Buckles is a dog. He is very soft and fuzzy. We took him for a walk. He likes walks because when we came out of the school his tail was wagging. Buckles likes to smell the grass. He is very friendly because he lets everybody pet him."

Thanks Emma!

 

September 22, 2012:

I made many new friends at the Great American Pet Festival in Clifton Park today, where I represented NEADS along with New York State NEADS representative Lee Sheldon and her pet, Honor. I enjoyed playing with Honor and was very interested in the other animals at the fair, too!

Buckles & Honor at Great American Pet Festival Buckles & friend at Great American Pet Festival Buckles & Honor at Great American Pet Festival

 

September 20, 2012:

Schoharie Elementary student Ethan wrote this about me:Ethan and Buckles
"I like to play with Buckles, and hug him. I have Buckles 'sit pretty,' and 'high five.' I walk with Buckles. I tell him left or right, and 'slow' on the stairs. Buckles picks up toys on the floor."

Ethan comes to see me every day, and we are becoming best buddies. Ethan earns time with me by getting his work done and following all the classroom rules. He has not missed one day since school started.

I've been visiting more classrooms, and I went to a speech session with our speech pathologist, where I stayed quiet while she worked with the student.

 

September 14, 2012:

A lot of teaching and learning goes on here! The students are learning about my job and duties as a service dog, and I am teaching them what I can do. Here I am showing how I can sit up on a command which is called "Sit pretty." I've been trained to assist people in many ways.

Buckles sits pretty

 

 

September 5, 2012:

Tomorrow is the first official day of school, but this place is really busy today. Everyone is getting ready, but some children are already here, visiting or practicing sports or stopping in with their moms or dads. You can see that I've been studying hard in the photo below.

Buckles with notebook

I think it will be a while before I see one of my visitors in the first picture below at a desk here. Recently, I also had a play date with Ms. Jacobsen's dog, Mia (center photo). And, I  helped Ms. Newberry prepare for the start of school.

with visiting babywith Miawith Ms. Newberry

 

August 28, 2012:

As we get ready for school, I've been meeting more of the big people who work here and practicing my skills so I can start off on the right paw with the children I will see next week. I also met two fifth graders this week, Daisy and Bridget, and I shook their paws. They were visiting school and asked to see me.

Buckles with friends on August 28, 2012 

I am also staying strong and fit during my summer vacation - exercise is important, they tell me, but I think of it as play!

Buckles, Daisy and Bridget  Buckles, Daisy and Bridget  Buckles, Daisy and Bridget

 

August 16, 2012:

At school today, I spent some time with preschool students while their parents met with staff. First, I opened the door and let them in, and then closed it. I showed the children how I turn the lights on and off, and of course, I let them pet me. One boy said I was very smart!

Buckles on a boat

Last weekend, I took my first boat ride, and I loved it. My ears blew in the breeze as I rode in the bow across Lake George. I met a group of senior citizens and demonstrated how I can help a person dress: I know how to take off and put on socks! I also behaved well with other dogs who also were visiting Lake George that day. 

  Buckles on a boat             Buckles views Lake George

 

August 8, 2012:

Since last week, I've practiced some of my skills at a mall and a grocery store. Here at school, I helped children sit through meetings their parents had with Mrs. N. Because the children stayed quiet, they were able to play with me afterward.

Today, I demonstrated more of my commands at school. I turned a light switch on and off, opened a door, moved to the right side and the left side of Mrs. N., led her through a small space, and closed the door. I also took a nap in her office (but I didn't need to be asked to do that!)

Within the next week or so, I will be visiting preschool students at Whispering Pines and showing them what I can do. I hear they are two to five years old; I wonder if I will be taller than they are?

Buckles likes to swim

At home, I'm learning how to catch a frisbee, and I've been having fun swimming with my sister dog and our humans. Check out my form off the diving board! I'm glad tennis balls float.

Buckles swimming 1  Buckles swimming 2  Buckles swimming 3

 

 

August 1, 2012:

This week, I went to the Schoharie County ARC, where Schoharie Central School Board of Education President Linda Isles is a director. I visited with people there, practiced some of my skills and went on the VIP (Very Important Puppy) tour. Back at school, I gave a demonstration of how I follow some of my commands.

Buckles sit   Buckles sit pretty   Buckles bow

 

July 25, 2012:

I'm having fun learning all about my new home and my new job from my new people. I really am using what I learned in assistance dog school - my teachers there were right when they told me that I would.

I also experienced my first Schoharie School fire drills this month. After hearing the alarm, I made sure my people walked out of the building safely.

 

July 13, 2012:

I arrived at my new home at the end of June, and my first day of school in Schoharie was July 2. I have been learning lots of things here: where the children learn, walk, eat, play, and get on and off their busses. I've visited classrooms, hallways, buildings, parking areas, the playground and the athletic fields.

I already visited with high school summer school students and met a lot of adults who work here (they call them staff and they are pretty good at shaking my paw and petting me). I have even played outside here, where my favorite game is fetch!

When I am not in school, I am still learning and practicing what I learned at NEADS. I go to the grocery store, the mall and on trips in the car. At home, I swim and play with my doggie brother and his humans. And I always do my homework.

 Buckles July 2 at school   Buckles July 2 at school   Buckles July 2 at school 

Even service dogs have recess! I played fetch during my first day of school! Notice that I am wearing my handsome red working vest. I graduated from my blue training vest.

 Buckles on July 2 at school   Buckles on July 2 at school   Buckles on July 2 at school

 

Our newest staff member: Buckles the Classroom Assistance Dog!

June 21, 2012:

Thanks to all of the votes the school received in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow grant competition earlier this year, Schoharie Central School will welcome a new, very special staff member on July 2: Buckles, a social therapeutic classroom assistance dog.

Buckles comes to our school from the National Education for Assistance Dogs (NEADS) organization, and will live with Schoharie Central School's Director of Curriculum & Pupil Personnel Services, Linda Nevulis, who recently completed five days of training at the NEADS facility in Massachusetts working with Buckles so he can share all of his talents and services with Schoharie's students.

Buckles will work with a diversity of students at school, from Kindergarten through high school. He'll be a partner, a motivator, a classmate and a friend. And much more.

NEADS trains service dogs like Buckles to work with students to provide "a unique and effective way to connect with children in the classroom." According to NEADS, "The presence of a dog can put many people at ease and allows them to start talking more freely than they would have otherwise. Children tend to form a special bond with animals and will share things with a dog or dog handler that they are afraid to tell authority figures."

NEADS website also notes that service dogs are "an effective therapeutic partner for physical and occupational therapists who are looking for a way to motivate children to use their body in certain ways. Throwing a ball exercises both the dog and the child, without either of them being aware of it! . . . Brushing the dog or attaching the dog’s cape or backpack can be a great way to enhance dexterity.

"Speech therapists find that having a dog that obeys commands and performs tasks when a child says something correctly can be a great incentive for children to work on their enunciation."

A golden retriever who was born on Jan. 17, 2011, Buckles was named after the longest surviving World War I veteran at the time, Frank Buckles. A very special dog, Buckles has already helped a person grow and learn: he was trained by an inmate in a Massachusetts correctional facility through NEADS Prison PUP Partnership program. He also learned at a local police department, and he worked with a volunteer weekend puppy raiser, learning about life at home and in the community.

 

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