Kelly: Facility Dog

facility dog at aim academy with child reading

AIM Academy & Kelly

Facility Dog

Kelly was placed at AIM Academy in Conshohocken in March 2017. She works there every school day helping kids with many different tasks related to learning. She helps in occupational therapy sessions where she assists students working on such skills as mindfulness, core strength, and sequencing. She also aids in speech pathology sessions where she helps students gain confidence while reading and practicing skills related to writing and language. In addition, she provides an overall calming presence to students at the school. Whether it’s test anxiety, reading shyness, or the college application process, she is there as a resource to encourage and empower the fearless learners of AIM Academy.


Kelly’s Impact

Having a facility dog on campus provides AIM’s highly-trained faculty with yet another tool to use when working with students on a variety of tasks both emotional and academic.”

~Nancy Blair, Associate Director and co-founder AIM Academy


“I had a 4th grade student have a complete meltdown – crying, clearly frustrated and struggling with many internal emotions. Nothing I said calmed him until I asked him to sit with me on the floor and pet Kelly. I told him Kelly was worried about him, and she needed him to comfort her. The student sat down and started petting her. I could literally see the stress wipe off his face and he even started to smile. It was truly amazing to watch Kelly’s calming effect in action. This student was in crisis mode and truly benefited from Kelly’s presence. It was an amazing sight to see, and you should be proud of the dogs that you train for moments like these!”

“I see students for Speech and Language Therapy who have anxiety surrounding the act of reading. With one student, I have witnessed her body posture relax, and have heard a positive change in her tone of voice and fluency when reading in Kelly’s presence. This sense of calm that Kelly brings increases the effectiveness of my interventions because anxiety does not have as large a presence during our sessions…Kelly is a little bright light that brings smiles every day to the students at AIM!”

~ Julie Luzier, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist and certified facility dog handler, AIM Academy


“The other day several of my fourth graders were having a difficult time displaying self-control… From the minute Kelly joined our group, self-control occurred immediately! My group was so well behaved as they tried to stay quiet and calm for Kelly! She is such an asset to our school! Great job bringing her to AIM, all!”

~ Eryn Doroshow, Fourth Grade Special Education Teacher AIM Academy



KYW Newsradio Interview

Kelly was recently featured on KYW Newsradio. Our Executive Director, Laura O’Kane, along with students, parents, and Kelly’s handler team were there to answer questions and share about the impact Kelly has each day at AIM Academy. Listen below to the report and click here to read the full article and watch the video.



Read about other inspirational stories on our Success Stories page.