ACT Program Receives $10,000 Anonymous Donation

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The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (WEDF) has received a $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor to support the innovative therapy dogs program that is being implemented in the Academic Center for Transition (ACT) program at Chandler Magnet Elementary School. This is the second donation received by this donor to support this program.

ACT is a program that supports the learning needs of students who have experienced trauma, and or are diagnosed with emotional disabilities that are often compounded by learning exceptionalities. The program is highly structured and provides a therapeutic component in addition to rigorous academic learning.

The faculty and staff of The Academic Center for Transition has developed an innovative and progressive program that will utilize therapy dogs to enhance current educational and therapeutic curricula. Working closely with 25-year veteran and industry expert, Mike St. Luis, ACT’s faculty has designed a program with a targeted focus on therapeutic service. Using the therapy dogs in conjunction with clinicians, the program’s goal is to assist children in removing barriers of trauma and anxiety, and incorporating an obedience class to teach leadership and responsibility through PBIS. This program has proven to be very successful and well received by the students.

"WEDF is grateful to our anonymous donor for this most generous donation. These funds will allow the ACT Program to begin their work with their students and therapy dogs as we seek additional funding to support the program for the rest of the school year. It takes the commitment of a caring community to support our students, and provide the much-needed funding to support this type of innovative work." said Stephen Pitcher, President of WEDF.

The WEDF was founded in 2005 for the sole purpose of supporting the Worcester Public Schools.