One Class at a Time: Counseling with a four-legged friend at Reservoir Gifted Academy

Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 10:16 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - This week’s One Class at a Time is a tad different, because we are awarding a counselor instead of a teacher! Jill Hayes is the counselor at Reservoir Gifted Academy and has been doing so for five years there.

She helps nearly 300 students with educational, social and emotional skills. Luckily, she’s not alone and has a helper. Aggie is the facility emotional support dog who serves as a comforting, fun, and sweet distraction when the kids need it.

“She’s trained. We have a big, stuffed beanbag in my room. So they lay on that beanbag and cry, she [Aggie] just senses and she’ll come lay across them, like a weighted blanket almost,” said Ms. Hayes.

With the $1000 grant from 25News and CEFCU, Ms. Hayes plans on buying a subscription for PBIS Rewards, a digital incentive program aimed to improve student’s behavior and school culture.

Congratulations. Ms. Hayes!