Meet Myrtle, REED Academy’s New Staff Member!

Woof! Woof! Woof!

That sound will echo through the halls of REED Academy starting in the New Year.  We’re partnering with Guiding Eyes for the Blind New York, a national non-profit, that trains and places guiding eye dogs with people that have vision loss.  Our new partnership is the first pilot program in the country that places a highly-trained service dog into a school setting.   This new collaboration between REED and Guiding Eyes will create a program that can be modeled and used throughout the nation to assist other schools that educate children with disabilities.

We are honored and very excited that REED was selected by Guiding Eyes for the Blind as the first school to test this program putting together service dogs and children with autism in a school setting.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind was founded by Donald Kauth in 1954 and has successfully graduated over 7,000 guide dog teams.  When dogs are not suited for guide work, they are trained as service dogs and help various organizations throughout the country.

Our new dog Myrtle will be fully incorporated into REED and adapted to meet each individual student’s daily curriculum plan.

Here are some of the new goals we hope to achieve with Myrtle and our students:

  • Promoting positive experiences with dogs. Dogs are all over our communities and overcoming fear of them is very important for all of our students.
  • Myrtle may be a positive reward for our students. Positive reinforcement is a guiding principle of ABA. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the positive behavior is more likely to be repeated.
  • Educational initiatives through the ABA curriculum. Learning skills such as taking care of a dog and helping support safety skills such as crossing a busy street.
  • Increase a student’s physical fitness. There will be opportunities for walking and playing with Myrtle which may serve as positive physical components for REED students.

img_1726

Can You Help?

We have a goal of $25,000 to raise to support this new and creative program for Myrtle and our kids. We can’t do it without you! No gift is too small!

Donate Now