SALEM, Mass. (WHDH) - All year long, students in a first grade class at Horace Mann School have been learning about heroes.They wrote letters back and forth to a secret hero, and finally met him for the first time on Thursday.His name is Patrick and he is a therapy dog. "I thought I was going to meet a normal person," said Caleb Munevar. Patrick works at Care Dimensions, a hospice program for terminally ill patients. "He's a hero because he helps people that are sick," said Cate Hennessy.
Elisa Lasota has taught her first graders about heroes for 12 years. Usually, heroes are people, like the mayor of Salem or a Massachusetts state trooper. This is the first time there has been a non-human. "I realized that children had a very slanted view as to what a hero is, what a hero can do," said Lasota. The class sang a song to Patrick and gave him an award. Each child got to take home a picture of this hero. "With Patrick, I have been able to go beyond test scores and data and have children learn something that really can't be quantified with a test," said Lasota. The class also got a fluffy replica of their new hero, Patrick.
Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.