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Furry Visitors Welcomed at HSE Library

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The newly reconfigured High School East library hosted some special guests on May 17. The senior leadership classes arranged for three therapy dogs – Barbie, Khieron and Dino – from Therapy Dogs of Long Island to visit with students and staff.

“After the year we had, it was nice to do something as a group,” said High School East senior leadership student Giaonna Barbone. “Our goal was to help the students relax and do something fun. Everyone was so happy to have the dogs here to break up the routine.”

The librarians, who have been working with students in small groups and virtually during COVID restrictions, were also happy to have the buzz of activity back in the space. “We spent a good portion of this year reimagining the library floorplan and opening it up to accommodate small and large groups of students,” said Jean-Marie Kliphuis, High School East’s librarian. “Our goal is to make sure all students feel comfortable and welcome, whether they need to conference with a teacher, find some quiet space to decompress, or work on a group project. The library is about community, and the dogs fit in perfectly.”

High School East senior Gianna Goldsborough was excited by how the day played out. “The library made the visit easy for the students and the dogs, and it brought us together in unexpected ways. There were no phones out. Kids were bonding with the dogs and each other.”