CENTENNIAL – The Cherry Creek School District is getting its very first school therapy dog, a 9-week-old black Labrador puppy named Riley (photo attached). Riley will be teamed up with School Resource Officer Deputy Adam Nardi. The pair will be assigned to all the Cherry Creek schools in unincorporated Arapahoe County and Centennial. Riley will work with all types of students, including those with special needs. He’ll bring comfort to students in times of crisis, help reduce stress and assist those who suffer from anxiety or depression.
The school district says the use of therapy dogs to support the wellbeing of students was a recommendation that came out of last year’s CCSD Mental Health Emergency Task Force, a group of students, staff, parents and community members who came together to address the mental health crisis impacting our schools. “Meeting the mental health needs of our students is an important part of supporting their whole wellbeing. We are excited to welcome Riley into our schools as part of the team of SROs who keep our schools safe,” says Superintendent Christopher Smith.
Riley will become the newest member of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office when he’s officially sworn in by Sheriff Tyler Brown. He will join our two other school therapy dogs, Rex and Zeke, who work in Littleton Public Schools. “The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office has seen great success with the use of therapy dogs at our neighboring school districts and we’re excited to expand our program to the students and staff in the Cherry Creek School District,” says Arapahoe Sheriff Tyler Brown.
Over the next year, Riley will train in basic obedience, then he’ll attend an American Kennel Club (A.K.C.) good citizen and intensive class to become a certified therapy dog. When he’s a year old, Riley will begin training in scent detection for firearms. “I’m excited to see the care, love, and smiles Riley is going to bring to all of the staff and students in the Cherry Creek School District. I think he’s going to be a great tool to help students to change their outlook and mood,” says Deputy Adam Nardi.
Deputy Nardi has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years and assigned to the SRO unit for four years. He’s taught more than 200 classes to students on how to stay safe online, how to be a good online citizen, drug and alcohol awareness, how to avoid substance abuse and how to improve relationships with others. Deputy Nardi is looking forward to incorporating Riley into many new and exciting programs for Cherry Creek Schools.
September 12, 2022
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
13101 E. Broncos Pkwy, Centennial
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