Helping New York City Kids Build Empathy and Self-Esteem

A Fair Shake returned to school in April and we are glad to be back. The negative impact of COVID on both the academic and social emotional life of children can not be overstated. The kids need the dogs more than ever.

Here WNBC visited our summer camp program at WHEDco in the Bronx.  We are delighted to be back after three years! Kids are pretty happy too.

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Photo: The Dogist

A Fair Shake for Youth helps New York City middle school students build social and emotional skills through a structured hands-on therapy dog program. Following a 10-week curriculum, kids learn dog-handling skills and discuss dog-related topics that often resonate with their own life experience – animal shelters, second chances and breed discrimination.
As kids work with the dogs they learn about themselves and each other. They build the skills and behaviors critical to academic learning and to navigating life’s challenges and opportunities. Getting a dog to sit or run through a tunnel helps a child realize that they have a voice, are worth listening to, and can impact another being. A dog who is glad to see a child week after week shows the child that they are in fact lovable.
Honest, non-judgmental, and ready to love and be loved, dogs make it safe for kids to open up and to realize their own best self.

" A Fair Shake addresses that elusive art of educating 'the whole child' that for some children is the essential missing part."

-  Ms. Padilla, Teacher, IS 52