Account Login/Registration

Access KelownaNow using your Facebook account, or by entering your information below.


Facebook


OR


Register

Privacy Policy

Support dogs helping to create a better future

UBC Okanagan is bringing man’s best friend into the classroom in order to teach children confidence and life-long skills for success.

<who>Photo credit: BARK UBCO</who>

UBC Okanagan’s Building Academic Retention through K9s BARK program has been mentoring 22 children between the ages of five and 12. The six-week program called “Building Confidence through K9s” is supported by Telus Thompson Okanagan Community Board.

The initiative of the program is to build the children’s leadership and social skills.

<who>Photo credit: BARK UBCO</who>

Though the program is only in the pilot stage, there is hope for expansion regionally and nationally.

Students at a critical stage in social development are encouraged to participate in a series of skill-building sessions that have been developed by the faculty. BARK director, John-Tyler Binfet, believes this is a great opportunity to leverage the effects of animal therapy.

“This particular time in a child’s life is critical to establishing empathy, leadership, and social skills,” said Binfet. “The presence of a therapy dog will ensure youth who may require additional support in building this skill-set are suppoted emotionally and socially.”

<who>Photo credit: BARK UBCO</who>

Binfet strongly believes that the presence of the animals positively affects the children’s wellbeing.

“The best part of the program is witnessing the children’s excitement,” said Paula Buchanan, program leader for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. “The children are building confidence right before our eyes.”

<who>Photo credit: BARK UBCO</who>

The program is offered in partnership with the Telus Thompson Okanagan Community Board Fund.

“Many of us have been experienced firsthand the calming, positive benefits of being in the company of a furry friend,” said Steve Jenkins, TELUS general manager for the Okanagan and vice-chair of the TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board.

Binfet believes the program is a clear example of how communities can work together to help young people.

To stay updated on BARK visit http://bark.sites.olt.ubc.ca/.



Send your news tips, letter to the editor, photos and videos to News@kelownanow.com
Connect with us.
Report a typo...send an email to news@kelownanow.com
 
comments

Comments




Wed
24℃


Thu
24℃


Fri
20℃


Sat
24℃


Sun
26℃


Mon
30℃

Top Stories

Our Latest Video

Upcoming Featured Events

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Youtube Listen on Soundcloud Follow Our RSS