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Johnson Park News

Please join us in welcoming our new PPS therapy dog who will be working at all four elementary schools on a rotating basis once he is fully trained.

To select the right dog for the elementary schools, Ms. Sarah Moore, PPS Supervisor of Elementary Education, worked with a Golden Doodle breeder that has experience in training and placing dogs in therapeutic settings. A puppy recently became available and was selected for training.

"I would like to thank TriState Bernedoodles in West Berlin, NJ, for their generous donation," said Ms. Moore. Until he is fully trained, the puppy will only be in the district on Fridays when he will be at the Valley Road Administrative Offices. When he is not in training or visiting Valley Road, Tiger will reside with Ms. Moore at home. He is about 12 weeks old and is very affectionate. 

Ms. Moore recently asked elementary students to vote on a name for the puppy. The winning name was Tiger. Once Tiger completes his full course of training, which may take the remainder of this school year, he will join Ms. Moore at the elementary schools as an official therapy dog, rotating through the schools on a weekly basis.

"We have Tiger for the purpose of therapy work," explained Ms. Moore, as she stroked Tiger, who is very fluffy and calm.

Tiger recently participated in his first administrative meetings at the Valley Road offices.

"I have had the opportunity to work with therapy dogs in other districts and the outcome, particularly with difficult-to-reach students, has been wonderful," said Ms. Moore. "It's another method to reach students who need support and I have seen first-hand what a huge difference it can make." 

Ms. Moore joined the district this year. She has worked an educational supervisor, an interventionist, and as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. Most recently, she served as Supervisor of Literacy & Interventions in the Robbinsville Public Schools.

Ms. Moore has two master’s degrees in education from the College of New Jersey, and her areas of expertise include multi-tiered systems of support, English Language Arts, the science of reading, special education, and teacher professional development planning. She has worked with the New Jersey Consortium on Deaf-Blindness, one of several statewide groups that support the education and lives of people who are deaf-blind.

In addition, Ms. Moore is a Level 5 Orton-Gillingham Master Instructor and also a Orton-Gillingham School District Trainer. 

Orton-Gillingham is a multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia.

"We are very fortunate to have Sarah as part of our district," said Dr. Kimberly Tew, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. "Very few districts have someone on staff with her level of expertise in Orton-Gillingham, which is a wonderful and very effective resource for our students."

Tiger the Therapy Dog

photo of Tiger the PPS therapy dog

Tiger the Therapy Dog with the Elementary Administrative Team 

photo of Tiger the Therapy Dog with PPS Admin Team

Tiger the Therapy Dog with Dr. Tew 

photo of Tiger the Therapy Dog with Dr. Tew
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