Get established in the High School and help promote the qualities of accepting, appreciating, acknowledging and caring for others.
Purchase of a Service Dog/Facility Dog for the High School:
The Aevidum club has received approval from Mr. Eric Spencer, High School Principal, and the School Board to move forward with purchasing a facility dog.
What is a facility dog? It is a service dog that has been raised and trained to work with a large number of people within a facility setting such as a school or hospital. Facility dogs have been very effective working with children and adults in a school or therapy setting. Facility dogs are specially selected because of their innate awareness of the emotions and actions of the people around them. Special training programs enhance this ability through special task training. All facility dogs must exhibit excellent manners, follow basic obedience cues, and go potty on cue. They must also exhibit good social behavior (no aggression, no begging, no undesirable playful activity, etc.).
You might be thinking, why a facility dog?
Research has shown that interactions with animals provide a wealth of benefits:
Mental Health: Reduces anxiety, eases stress, alleviates depression, brightens affect and mood, reduces isolation and loneliness, provides pleasure and affection, and improves self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
Social: Improves socialization, increases communication skills, improves cooperation and problem solving skills, improves expression of feelings, builds trust, increases attentiveness and engagement, teaches skills of acceptance and being nonjudgmental, and reduces inappropriate social behavior.
Physical: Lowers blood pressure and heart rate, produces a “calming effect,” and reduces pain levels.
The Aevidum club, with the support of Mr. Ben Feeney, Assistant Principal and intended host home for the dog, have completed the application process, interview, and home/school inspection through Susquehanna Service Dogs based in Grantville, PA. We are currently on the waiting list awaiting a potential dog for the school.
In the meantime, Peter Smith and his dog, SSD Midge, were kind enough to pay us a visit during Keystone Exams in May 2015. As you can see from the photos, she was a hit with many of the students. This was an opportunity to show students what a facility dog can do. SSD Midge showed off her skills of good behavior, turning on and off light switches, opening doors, balancing on a box, and other fun stuff.
September 2015: Following some stressful events in the district, Aevidum brought in some dogs from KPets to offer some relief to students during lunch. One volunteer commented that he overheard a student say, “Best day ever.” The smiles and excitement were just what the students needed.
The L-S Pioneer News featured our story in May 2015:
This video from Lakeside Schools showcases SSD Cobalt and SSD Boomerang. In it, students tell how the dogs have affected them on a daily basis at their school.
Facility dogs cost a lot of money due to the time invested in raising and training them to do such a specialized job. Dogs can run between $3,000 and $5,000, and that is just for the purchase of the dog. Afterwards there are vet bills, monthly medications, food, and supplies to pay for. Therefore, the Aevidum club has been spending a lot of time raising awareness about the project and fundraising.
Ms. Glass, Co-Advisor for Aevidum, spent a day at the Paradise Farmer’s Market trying to get the word out about Aevidum and all of the good things we are trying to do.
Lunch Safe Seating Table
Lunch time can be one of the most stressful times for students throughout the day. Some days a student may find themselves without someone to sit with or needing a change due to issues with students at the table where they normally sit. The Aevidum table was set up to designate a safe place for students in these situations to sit. In turn, if members from the Aevidum club see someone sitting at one of these tables, they have the opportunity to reach out and "have their back" by sitting with them.
SAFE SEATING announcement
On Friday, as you filed into the cafeteria you may have noticed something looked different. A table is now adorned with black and yellow table cloths and an Aevidum sign. You may have wondered what this is all about. The cafeteria has long been a source of stress for many students. You may have ever felt the knot in your stomach as you scan the room searching for a place to sit because you are eating a different lunch, someone else has taken your seat at your normal table, or maybe you have had a falling out with friends and need a new place to land. The Aevidum table was created and is reserved for the students in just these kinds of situations. It a safe place to go for that day to ease the stress of the moment. Members of the Aevidum club are encouraged to join students at these tables. It is important to realize that these tables are not just for anyone to sit at. They have been created for a specific purpose. So please respect that and join your friends at the surrounding tables so that they may be available for those in need.
The Safe Seating project garnered a lot of interest and was featured in an article on Lancaster Online. In addition, Aevidum (the primary club at Cocalico High School), is creating a new video to be used in schools that will feature the L-S club and the “safe seating” idea. The video will be available October 2015.
a locker has been decorated and designated as a safe place for students to share concerns for themselves or another student when they do not feel comfortable coming directly to an adult for help. The locker is monitored by the guidance department.
Positive Post-It Notes
This project begins on the bathroom mirrors where students tend to spend time judging themselves most harshly. Positive post-it notes to redirect their thoughts in a more positive direction and let them know someone cares will be posted on the mirrors. Within time this project will spread into the cafeteria, classrooms, locker rooms, and other areas that students need a change of focus or pat on the back.
Hands Across the School
- Hands will be hung around the school, each bearing the name of one student or staff member, to show the acknowledgement of all who spend time there.
branch out into the other schools
The Aevidum club at the High School would like to branch out into the other schools within the district by promoting a positive mental health environment in Lampeter and Hans Herr Elementary Schools and assisting the Martin Meylin Middle School Aevidum club in their efforts. Student liaisons will be assigned to each school and will help create projects, visuals, and events to promote the core values of Aevidum.
Sponsorship of Buddy Benches at the Elementary Schools
One of our members and officers, Kristin Allen, is working towards her Girl Scout Gold Award. Her hope is to bring buddy benches to both Lampeter and Hans Herr elementary schools. The goal of the buddy bench is to be a place where students who feel lonely on the playground without anyone to play with can go and sit. When another student sees them sitting there they can join them or invite them to play. The Aevidum club is planning to raise funds to help sponsor a portion of the benches.