Iowa elementary school uses therapy pig to improve learning

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - An elementary school in eastern Iowa is using a therapy pig to help special education students manage emotions and focus on learning.

The Muscatine Journal reports that Frankie the pig serves as a calming mechanism. Students showing signs of emotional distress are asked to sit and read to the therapy pig for 15 minutes. The practice has proven to help students recover and return to learning more quickly.

Students are also in charge of feeding and caring for Frankie. It has created a sense of ownership and responsibility in the classroom.

Special education teacher Trina Hepker knows her students might not want to tell her everything. She says Frankie can be a confidant when her students are upset.

She says that thanks to Frankie, her young students are excited to come to school.

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