Take a Paws event Returns to RHS


Elizabeth Bulat, Staff Writer

The week leading up to exams can be a stressful time for students. Thankfully, the Take a Paws event is returning to RHS to help calm students’ nerves. The event brings volunteers and therapy dogs to RHS, and students are welcome to go into the media center during their lunch to play with the dogs.

“Take a Paws is a program designed to help students relieve stress (due to exams) by playing with therapy dogs,” English teacher Mrs. Schrems said. “It’s purpose is a way to bring students together, lighten up a little, smile, laugh [and] release happy endorphins.”

Last year, Mrs. Schrems and Junior Brittany Evered worked together to create the Take a Paws event. Evered came up with the idea during class, and Mrs. Schrems agreed to work on it with her. The two of them decided to use the Pet a Pet organization and worked out the details for the next few weeks that made Take a Paws a success

“I just was saying that it would be something cool,” Evered said. “But Mrs. Schrems took me up on it and we made it our own.”

Take a Paws is more than just an enjoyable experience for students and staff; it’s also beneficial to Rochester’s mental health. In a study by the American Journal of Cardiology, dogs and cats are proven to help individuals ease their stress and anxiety. By interacting with the therapy dogs, students can have fun with friends, relax and get their minds off of their upcoming exams.

“I really enjoy petting and playing with the dogs,” Sophomore Emily Murphy said. “It helps me relieve some stress for my exams.”

Students are not the only people who benefit from this event. RHS staff and Pet a Pet volunteers enjoy the experience as well.

“I love seeing the expression on our students’ faces while playing with the dogs,” Mrs. Schrems said. “The volunteers love being at RHS and say so many good things about our student body!”

Many students and staff are excited for the event to return to RHS this year. On January 20, therapy dogs will be in the media center during all three lunches, and for $2, students can spend their lunch playing with them.

“I feel like it’s going to blossom into something really cool,” said Evered. “Last year we were a little rushed with things but this year I feel like it will be a big hit.”