30 March 2020

Education support dogs help students going through 'ruff' days

| Dominic Giannini
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Goulburn High School Miss Alice

Goulburn High School’s newest staff member Miss Alice. Photo: Instagram.

Goulburn High School’s new pup-stitute teacher, Miss Alice, has been welcomed to the staff team to help raise student morale. The tamaruke puppy can sense when students are not OK and runs over to them to provide the paw-fect pick-me-up of hugs, kisses and licks when students need it most.

Therapy dogs have been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress in students and provide a sense of connection during difficult times in a child’s development. Research also shows they can help boost school attendance.

Meanwhile, primary schools across Goulburn are also receiving an education funding boost to help access more specialised subjects with tele-learning. The NSW Government has expanded its Aurora College regional education program to give students in the area access to innovative programs without having to leave their homes.

Aurora College’s Virtual Selective High School is a new and unique secondary option for students in NSW government schools. It offers students the opportunity to connect with their peers and teachers through lessons delivered online, while staying connected to their local communities.

The Aurora College program has now been expanded to include students from more than 600 public schools across NSW.

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Love my job 💛

A post shared by Miss Alice 🌻 (@missalice_thetamaruke) on

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman says the new program is a game changer for the region’s students given that some of their nearest physical classrooms could be hundreds of kilometres away.

“With the expansion of Aurora College, students and families from Avoca to Windellama will no longer have to decide between where they live and access to educational opportunities,” she says.

“Aurora College is an incredible initiative that, during the past two years in its pilot stage, has provided access to resources that have never been available before for students in regional and remote areas.”

The online program offers courses such as English, maths, languages, sciences, economics, agriculture and software design and development.

NSW Minister for Education the Hon Sarah Mitchell says the college ensures students in regional and remote communities have the same opportunities as their metropolitan counterparts.

“Having staff based centrally allows local students to connect to classes digitally, allowing them to interact with the teacher and other classmates from across the state,” she says.

For more information on the college and how to sign up, visit aurora.nsw.edu.au.

To keep up with all the im-paw-tant information from Miss Alice, follow her on Instagram (@missalice_thetamaruke).

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What a wonderful fantastic idea. I have always loved my dogs and their interactions with my children from babies to adults. Well done. what a privilege to be involved in such a great project

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