GLOUCESTER , MASS. – Gloucester Education Foundation has partnered with the Gloucester Police Department to fund school-based activity of “Ace” the Department’s new Community Resource Dog.
With support from the Dusky Fund and other local donors, Gloucester Education Foundation has awarded $5,000 to the Community Resource Dog program. This funding will make it possible for Ace the dog to spend additional time in classrooms helping students cope with social-emotional needs and challenges presented by the pandemic.
“Supporting our kids’ mental health and well-being during this incredibly challenging year is a priority for us at Gloucester Education Foundation” said Aria McElhenny, Executive Director of the local nonprofit. “Ace brings joy, smiles and comfort to our students, and, we’re thrilled to partner with the Police to help make sure as many kids as possible will benefit from this wonderful program.”
In addition to more classroom time for Ace, the grant from Gloucester Education Foundation also provides funds for a new interactive storybook about Ace that will be gifted to local classrooms, along with “Ace” golden retriever stuffed animals that will remain with students as a continued source of comfort when Ace is not able to be with them in person.
“The Community Impact Units’ Kops-n-Kids program is proud to collaborate with the Gloucester Education Foundation to support “Ace” and our Community Resource Dog Initiative,” said Lieutenant Jeremiah Nicastro. “With our new partnership, Ace will be able to visit all elementary classrooms in the Gloucester School system where his handler, Officer Sutera, will read the interactive book to the children and leave a book and a stuffed animal in each class.”
In addition to the therapeutic benefits that Ace brings to kids, his presence in schools helps to establish positive relationships among kids and the Gloucester Police.