In the fall of 2021, this program was established in the district to provide daily assistance to students and staff through support dogs. These beloved canines play a crucial role in supporting individuals within the education community by addressing their social and emotional needs as well as their learning requirements.
The initiative initially received donations from organizations such as the Rotary Club of Birmingham and DFCU Financial. Subsequently, additional funding was secured from Eagles for Children and Oakland County Mental Health grants. To ensure that these support dogs are qualified for their important task, a non-profit organization out of Brighton partnered with BPS to certify and train facility dogs.
Although owned by the district, these service dogs are entrusted to a school official who acts as their primary handler. The majority of expenses related to caring for and maintaining these canines rely on funds raised through various fundraising efforts along with generous donations received throughout each dog's lifetime.
Amy Palmer has served as the program's liaison since December of 2022. The liaison helps build resources, collaborate with primary handlers and organize sponsorships.