The newest employee at Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral School (SJP), a Catholic Partnership School (CPS), is stealing the show.
All he requires are a few trips outside during the day, a bed in his office and some love from his students.
Meet Cody, the eight year old Corgi, who has become a permanent fixture in Mrs. Bergen’s third grade class. Cody comes to school every day. He greets students in the morning and makes time to visit and provide comfort to all students on the first floor of the school building.
Cody’s therapy services began after Mr. Vernon Hill, CEO of Republic First Bancorp, who is an avid dog lover, visited Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in January of 2021. Vernon, with his dog Duffy in tow, suggested that a therapy dog might be a welcomed addition to our students, especially during this time of COVID-19 and all of the stress that comes along with wearing masks and social distancing.
After doing her research and finding that studies concluded that Therapy dogs not only have a positive effect on emotional well-being, they have an influence on cognitive development, SJP’s Principal, Kyle Oroz, immediately approved Cody to be brought in as a Therapy dog.
“Cody’s presence seems to support focus, motivation, and relaxation in my classroom. During this time of COVID-19, I feel he is essential in providing the cheerful but calming atmosphere my students are seeking.” - Michelle Bergen, SJP Third Grade Teacher.
Today, Cody had the chance to meet Mr. Hill’s dog, Duffy, and to accept a check for $10,000 donated by Republic Bank to further Catholic Partnership Schools efforts. Our students had a great time watching Cody and Duffy get acquainted and pose for photos like old pals. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Republic First Bancorp and adopting additional friends for Cody and Duffy.
“Having therapy dogs in our classrooms is another way that Catholic Partnership Schools are leading the way in providing a safe, loving and achieving environment for our students. Because we’re a Catholic school, we have the flexibility to implement programs quickly to meet the evolving needs of our students. We look forward to building this program and to providing therapy dogs for students at Holy Name, Saint Cecilia’s and Sacred Heart Schools.” - Christine Healey, CPS Board Chair.