University School of Milwaukee is pleased to introduce Xander, the newest four-legged member of the USM community, who has been visiting campus almost every Tuesday and Thursday since November. Xander is a four-year old Labrador retriever and a certified Canine Good Citizen.
Xander is a calm and loving presence on campus and has lots of experience in his role. He visits three to four classrooms during a typical day, and mainly stays in the Middle School, although teachers in all divisions are welcome to request his presence in their classrooms. “I’d say that the vast majority of students and teachers love him,” said Pamela Nosbusch, Middle School division head. “Almost all Middle School students will stop to say hi to him, pet him, or talk to him. It’s so fun to see how much they like him and to see their smiles.”
Prior to Xander being a regular visitor on campus, USM’s division heads established several goals for having a comfort therapy dog on site. These include helping to reduce stress levels of students with anxiety or depression; helping to improve oral reading fluency; and helping students to learn social-emotional skills such as responsibility and empathy.