PLAINWELL, Michigan (WOOD) — There’s a new mascot walking the halls of Plainwell High School, but it’s not a Trojan horse. I worked hard to collect.
Plainwell student Bri Johnson said, “I’m so proud of what we can do as part of the UMatter Club and that the school has helped us get our Pyp.
The national UMatter club, which operates under the Friendship Circle, was brought to Plainwell several years ago.
“We have 32 students in the UMatter Club. Their goal is to raise awareness about mental health and end the stigma around mental health and suicide, especially in high schools,” said Debra Beals, Vice Principal of the high school. said.
“The UMatter team gives people a way to express how they want to change their school for the better,” said senior Kaedence Smith.
One of these positive changes is a new Chocolate Lab called Pyp. The idea was inspired by Allegan High School, which also has an emotional support dog.
“We all love her so much. I have no doubt she’ll have a big role here at Plainwell,” said sophomore Isabel Meeker.
Pyp, who stepped into her new role after her vacation returned on January 9, was trained by Paws With a Cause. .
“[The students] This was amazing, but I came to the backend and said, “Hey Scott, would you like to be Pyp’s handler?” said Scott Glass.
The school’s social worker, Glass, knew how impactful the UMatter group was, so stepping up to take care of Pyp full-time was an easy decision. He explained that once the dog is fully certified, it will be able to go wherever it needs to in the building. It can be anything from providing a calming presence during a test to helping comfort a student in crisis. There are also specific days and times that you can do it.
“I also found her present between classes in the hallway,” Glass said. “The opportunities and possibilities are endless.”
Glass added that you won’t know how much impact an emotional support animal will have until you see it for yourself.
“I don’t think you really know until you have that student and you know a little bit about their background and you know the trauma they went through. “They are almost brand new people,” he recalled. “I would strongly, highly urge and encourage any school, any business… that it will change the world.”