Students at the Intensive Education Academy (IEA) in West Hartford raised $165 to support Cold Noses, Warm Hearts, a local nonprofit which supports registered therapy animals and Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.) and their handlers. Each month, students and staff at the special education school select a charity to benefit from their monthly Dress Down Day. Cold Noses, Warm Hearts is important to the school given the special connection students and staff have built with Darla, an English Cocker Spaniel, the school’s R.E.A.D. and therapy dog since 2014.
Once a week, Darla and her handler, Lynn Goldfarb, visit IEA. Selected students read individually to Darla while receiving guidance and encouragement from Lynn. This safe, supportive, fun atmosphere helps students to gain confidence and to improve their literacy and social skills.
“We are so pleased to be able to support an organization that has made such a difference in our school. Darla and Lynn are part of the IEA family, and we’re happy to make this donation in their honor,” said Tracy Barbour, Assistant Director of Education and coordinator of the monthly Dress Down Days. “Dress Down is more than just a casual day at school; students are learning the importance of empathy, citizenship and philanthropy.”
Since September, IEA has donated over $400 to local nonprofits, including Foodshare and Tabor House, as well as collecting food, clothing and supplies for local families, the food bank and other charities.