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In Our Own Words: Eve Gilbert '20 and Caroline Schuessler '20

By Eve Gilbert '20 and Caroline Schuessler '20

We created Pingry's very first Student Wellness Club this fall. The goal of our club is to promote both mental and physical health for the students in our community.

One of our first ideas, when starting the club over the summer, was to have therapy dogs come to school during a stressful time for students, to help them take a break from their work. The week before Winter Break, in partnership with Pingry's Counseling Department, we had the pleasure of hosting Therapy Dogs International on the Basking Ridge Campus! On the Tuesday before break, four dogs—a Yorkshire Terrier, a yellow lab, a black lab, and a fluffy, white, hypoallergenic dog—visited the Middle School students in the arts wing. And on Thursday, the dogs visited the Upper School students in the Multipurpose Room. Some of the highlights from their visit included students playing frisbee with the two labs and the Yorkshire Terrier sit in students' laps!

We received some great, positive feedback from students after this event. Maddie Massey, a Form V student, commented, "It was a really great way to destress from all the work we had to do, and to relax and have fun with our friends!" Many other students came up to the four of us later that week, thanking us for bringing the dogs to school and telling us how much they enjoyed the day.  

We are very happy that we were able to help students relax during a stressful week, and to know that our club has been a success so far. We look forward to planning more events in this coming year, and hope to see the same amount of participation and enthusiasm from students!

Watch a video and view additional photos of the dogs' visit to the Basking Ridge Campus, and read another essay by Eve and Caroline related to their Student Wellness Club efforts.

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,