Schools Rule!: Northwest Schools’ canine companions

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT
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BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - School is back in session and so is News 10′s Schools Rule! series.

Up first, we’re spotlighting a local district that’s working to put support dogs in all its schools. Northwest Schools in Jackson County is partnering with “Canines for Change” out of Grand Ledge in Eaton County.

The school board approved a plan to have eight total dogs, two per building.

“Canines for Change” is providing the dogs for the program. The district is paying $10,000 each for training.

First grade teacher Morgan Ledford told News 10 how big of a difference the support dogs can make for the kids.

“I had a student that was struggling and he wouldn’t walk down the hallway, he wouldn’t talk to anybody, he was just having a really rough day,” said Ledford. “I asked him, ‘Do you wanna walk Miggs to the gym?’ and he was immediately like, ‘Yup, I wanna go!’ So we grabbed Miggs’s leash and walked him to the gym and his day was much better.”

The dogs will be in training until they’re between 12 and 14 months old. That’s when they get tested before being placed in the schools.

Handlers will bring the dogs to school every day, where they’ll be able to help out however needed.

If there’s something going on in your district you would like us to spotlight on Schools Rule!, you can send an e-mail to

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