Elementary school counselor, dog partnering to provide emotional support to students, staff

Someone You Should Know

TOPEKA (KSNT)- There’s a new counseling duo at a Topeka elementary school, one teaches kids how to handle social and emotional situations while the other is a listening ear.

It’s a normal sight to see kids walking down the halls of McClure Elementary School, and in the mix of kids, four fuzzy legs.

Splash interacting with students at McClure Elementary School

Splash is a full-time staff member at McClure. Her pay, lots of rubs and attention, and a chance to get her picture in the yearbook. Splash is Karah Hight’s dog. The two are a counseling duo for the students and even the staff at the school.

“Our role has definitely changed over time,” Hight said. “We do a lot with the social and emotional side of students learning.”

This is their first year working at McClure, giving students a chance to have a safe space, no matter what age.

“We just immediately saw the students react in such positive ways,” she said. “You know, when kids are struggling or they’re feeling upset or just need a friend, she is a steadfast friend. It just brings lots of smiles to faces.”

Splash’s yearbook picture

Splash has become a big part of the team, even getting some recognition on the school district’s Facebook page.

“I am just so grateful to get to pair with Splash,” she said. “She’s a great partner, and it’s just fun to see the way she impacts our school.”

While it is fun and exciting to see a dog at school every day, Splash serves a purpose, to be Karah Hight’s sidekick, helping students and staff at McClure with whatever their emotional needs are.

Now don’t be fooled, Splash is a regular dog. Once her vest is on, she’s in work mode. The second she gets home and out of her uniform, she’s off chasing squirrels.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm