The Canines in the Classroom program gives high school students who face challenges that may prevent them from graduating from high school, an opportunity to learn how to train service dogs.
The program, which takes place during the school day, is linked to the Ontario secondary school curriculum. Students can earn high school credits while learning essential literacy and workplace skills.
Students introduce their canine partners to as many as 90 commands which include: opening doors, turning on lights, retrieving out of reach items and helping with dressing – tasks that a person using a wheelchair, for example, might have difficulty doing on their own.
Student trainers take pride in the role they play in enhancing the lives of people with disabilities, who are the future Life Partners of COPE Service dogs-in-training.