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Therapy Dogs Provide Calming Effect for Locust Valley Students

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Locust Valley High School and Locust Valley Middle School is hosting Mental Health Awareness Month throughout the month of May. This year’s theme is “Together for Mental Health” as students work to continue to fight the stigma, provide support and educate staff, students and families on mental health issues.

K-!2 Director of Guidance and School Counseling Michelle Villa said, “We will use this time to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care and work together to support one another.”

Student clubs and social worker Bidania Criscuolo are hosting sponsored activities to spread awareness and engage students in the process of recognizing the importance of mental health in our daily lives. Spirit Week, held May 2-6, encouraged students and faculty to wear pajamas to relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels on Mellow Monday, to dress like a friend on Twin Tuesday, to wear the color green for mental health awareness, to wear tie dye clothing to symbolize a wide range of emotions that are typically felt and to wear spirit gear to demonstrate support of the Falcon family.

Throughout the month, students will have the opportunity the participate in National Smile Day (May 31), play Coping Skills Bingo (May 26), celebrate gratitude on Gratitude Day (May 25), participate in a Drum Circle (May 23), play self-care Bingo (May 19), and show acceptance of others on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (Nay 17). Students also will enjoy National Chocolate Chip Day (May 16) and represent their cultural background on Represent Your Culture Day (May 12).

On May 3, students had the opportunity to snuggle and enjoy certified therapy dog Maggie, owned by Kelly Rogers. The students gathered in the library by appointment, where they filled out a questionnaire asking them to rate their level of stress before and after being with the therapy dog. Most of the students said they felt calmer and more relaxed after meeting the golden retriever who took hold of their hearts.

Date Added: 5/11/2022