Animal Assisted Instruction: Key Center School
Amount Raised
Fundraising Goal $8,000.00

Key Center School is a small public day school in Northern Virginia for students ages 5 to 22 with severe intellectual disabilities, multiple and severe physical disabilities, autism, and severe maladaptive behaviors.  In partnership with Summit Therapy Animal Services, LLC (, we started a pet therapy program 5 years ago to help students push beyond their barriers and find success.  This program has exceeded all our expectations!

Therapy Dog Handler, Kris, is a retired teacher who meets each student at their own level of need and comfort.  She collaborates with staff to address specific concerns and IEP goals and works to train Nic, the therapy dog, to interact with the students in the best way possible for all concerned.  Kris and Nic are valued members of our instructional team and it is hard to imagine that we might be facing a school year without animal assisted instruction.

Many of our students are non-verbal or non-ambulatory, many have severe vision or hearing impairments; many do not respond to, or  may even shy away from, human touch.   But over the last 5 years of having this program in place, we have found that our students will often do things for Nic that they won’t do for anyone else. They will make eye contact; they will reach farther, try harder, they will push their own boundaries, surpass their own limitations.  Our students face so many challenges each and every day, any small success is a triumph in our eyes.

The teachers and families of our school have been supporting this program through bake sales, quilt projects, homemade dog bone sales, anything we can think of.  We receive no money from the school system for this program.  Last year we turned to GoFundMe to help us ensure that we had enough money to make it through the year.  Thankfully, with the help of your generosity, we met our goal, but of course, in the coming school year, we will once again be faced with having to raise the funds to continue the program. We need YOUR HELP to raise the $8000 needed to fully fund this program for another year - the 2018-2019 school year.

Summit Therapy Animal Services has created a foundation - Summit Therapy Animal Services Foundation which is a FISCALLY SPONSORED PROGRAM under United Charitable - a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (  This foundation can receive donations for the benefit of the Key Center Animal Assisted instruction program and all donations are completely tax deductible.

The next success for our students is just around the corner and we are so thankful to anyone who helps make this happen.

%TeamName% is affiliated with %CorporateTeamName%