Janet Stavrides and her dog Nike visit elementary school classes weekly, the high schools and Del Val for a research project. They visit Pedia Manor and the Courthouse too. If that isn’t busy enough, they also support Roxy community events and visit a local Assisted Living Facility. We sat down with Janet to learn more about their Roxy days.
What were your expectations for school visits?
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with the classroom visits. I just like to make a difference and do whatever I can to help whoever I can, and this seemed like a logical next step! I figured there would be lots of touching and hugging and not much reading, since I have only one class of 5th grade and the rest are 1st or K. The teachers I’ve worked with have been awesome. I have seen the non-readers become readers, I’ve seen children who were afraid of Nike when we started not be afraid of her any longer. I’ve seen the children learn how to behave around her and it’s just been very positive. I can definitely see the impact that Nike has on the students, and I can see the impact they have on her! It’s such a special thing to be part of.”
Do you think Nike likes it?
Nike is so excited to see “her kids” every week, that she pulls me in the door of the building, down the halls, and into the particular room, cause I am not getting her to her kids quickly enough.
What is Nike’s favorite thing?
She just loves to be close to all the kids and get pets and hugs and all the loving they have to give her.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
In our first grade class, one of the children was having an especially bad/sad day. She wanted her mommy and the teacher was trying to console her when Nike and I arrived. The teacher made sure that this little girl was the first one to get to read to Nike that day, and by the time she was done, she forgot all about how she wanted to see her Mommy. Nike had comforted her enough that whatever was bothering her before, wasn’t anymore.