Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki visits Dalkeith Elementary School
Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki visited Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou in his capacity as an ambassador for the Asista Foundation (https://asista.ca/), which focuses on rescuing dogs from difficult situations and giving them a new lease on life by training them to be service animals.
Dalkeith has two service dogs, Kira and Jessie, fostered by Principal John Wright. They help students with their social interactions, reduce stress and anxiety and assist the children in the recovery phase of a crisis. Some students get to spend company with one of the dogs as a reward for good behavior and hard work in the classroom. Such students can spend 15 minutes with Kira or Jessie or take one of them for a walk. In addition, the dogs build students’ confidence in their reading through the school’s “Reading to Kira” program.
Suzuki spent time with the dogs and sat down with a number of student groups to talk to them about life in class, their long term goals and the impact these two canines have on them.
Much like playing in the NHL, Asista Foundation officials maintain that rehabilitating dogs takes a lot of hard work and a sustained effort, but the rewards are priceless when those lovely animals pay it forward by helping people cope with mental health conditions, one of the most important aspects of our society.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.