Service animals relieve first-week anxiety

Upon Jackson Prep’s first week of school, numerous clubs throughout the school started to ramp up ideas for the year ahead. One in particular is the Jackson Prep Service Club. The Service Club is a high school extracurricular for community service around the metro area and within the Jackson Prep community. Ms. Kelly Hedley, the sponsor for the group, came across Mississippi Therapy Animals, an organization providing care through their animals and potentially saving lives with proper training. 

So, on Wednesday, August 18, the Jackson Prep Service club brought many animals to Patriot Avenue with the hopes of relieving any possible nerves as the new school year starts off, particularly after the strange 2020-2021 school year. The animals on campus attracted students from both schools and caught them just in time before their next period. Mississippi Therapy Animals brought local and exotic animals such as alpacas, Australian shepherds, and parrots to school. Each of the animals have undergone a specific type of training that is able to support, comfort, and guide its companion whether it be emotionally or physically. 

The animals were available to visit with and admire along Patriot Avenue during the student lunch periods. The event seemed to be a hit among students, as it is something that they wouldn’t normally see every day. It’s safe to say that it was a refreshing change of pace for students.