Franklin Elementary School first graders are going to have a weekly visitor for the rest of year, according to MCSD officials. He’s covered in black fur, has four paws, a wet nose and can help encourage learning and success in the classroom.
Lincoln, a 1-year-old Goldendoodle and certified service dog, began visiting students on Wednesday for a program called Learning with Lincoln, said Sara Sandrik, public information officer for Merced City School District. His owner, Mary Brown, and Lincoln will visit students twice a week for two hours a day.
First grade teacher Shirley Regerts said Lincoln helps students stay focused and “gets them excited to learn.” He also helps with lessons, and gives students extra motivation for good behavior and academic progress.
“With Mrs. Brown, she does their high frequency words, which is part of our core literature series,” Regert said in a statement. “So the kids are motivated to practice and learn their words so they can read to Lincoln.”
Brown also incorporates Lincoln into science and art lessons, Sandrik said. On Wednesday, students studied his fur, the shape of his ears and other features before drawing him.
Brown, a retired teacher, said in a statement her experience bringing a dog into the classroom benefits children. This will be Lincoln’s second year with a new group of students.
“He’s really soft, and he’s cute. I feel happy he’s going to be learning with is,” 7-year-old Cassandra Duncan said.
Monica Velez: 209-385-2486, @monicavelez21