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Therapy Dogs Bring Calm to AHS
Jon Smith

PHOTOS BY ABBY ARNOLD, NOAH GEHRET and TONY STEED

If there’s one thing that many students have in common, it’s test anxiety. Especially high school juniors, who are now required by the state to take the ACT college entrance exam as a group.

That’s why Megan Davis, Sophia Brooks, Chloe Flaker and Alexis Maffei - all students in Ms. Kimberly Woodruff’s Premedical Professions I class - arranged to bring therapy dogs to Alliance High School Monday, the day before the big test.

The four students decided to focus on test anxiety for their Health Professions Affinity Community project. HPAC began in 2011 in cooperation with the Northeast Ohio Medical University to identify health problems in the community and create programs to address them.

“Basically, it is a project much like science fair, but it focuses on finding a challenge in the community and working to make a positive impact,” Woodruff said. “My friend Ruth DeFranco was kind enough to bring therapy dogs to the school.”

Many students took advantage of the opportunity to visit with the dogs, and their smiles indicated the project was a success.