Partnership Middle school adds a furry friend to the attendance

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – As the new academic year starts, schools are largely putting the virtual world of the last few years behind them.

One area campus is adding an extra feature to make its physical presence more welcoming to students.

The Partnership Middle School in Starkville is adding a furry faculty member to help ease kids into school.

After 2 years of wearing masks, taking classes via zoom, and constantly staying 6 feet apart, going to school and trying to transition back to normal can be overwhelming.

The Partnership Middle School in Starkville is trying a new approach to soften the blow.

It started when Laura Prisock, the safe space school climate coordinator had an idea.

“Oh My God it would be so awesome to have a dog at the school or have an animal of some sort at the school and if anything could make your day better it’s usually a dog,” said Prisock.

Principal Jorine Neal was open to the idea, and looking for something to help her staff and students more comfortable as they start the new school year.

“Mrs. Pricsock and I talked about it at the end of the school year just understanding what our staff and students have been through post-COVID and what we can do to provide support emotionally. Sometimes kids and adults just need an animal to hold to feel better so bringing tucker on board just felt like the right thing to do,” said Neal.

And Principal Neal is seeing a huge difference in everyone’s attitude.

“Since tucker has come on board since the first day of school the students and teachers have warmed up to him transitions are a lot happier, kids are petting him and playing with him and you can just tell that people are just calm and happy and he’s even had an opportunity to work with some students most recently. hes already been put to work and he’s made a wonderful difference in our school,” said Neal.

And after hours of work, it isn’t unusual to find tucker “tuckered” out, because it’s not easy being the Big Dog on Campus

“I feel like tucker has been called on the radio as much as I do lately,” said Prisock.

And as students walk around and see tucker every day Mrs. Prisock finally answers the most important question.

“YES he absolutely will have his own picture in the yearbook,” said Prisock.

It all started with an idea and a furry friend and Prisock are happy to see what the school year will hold.

“It’s been really cool to see it actually to fruition and I’m excited to see where it takes us in the future,” said Prisock.

Principal Neal says she recommends that all schools should at least consider having a support animal.

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