Gray Elementary welcomes man’s best friend monthly
Gray Elementary School is hosting Pup Day the last Friday of every month to celebrate the dogs in the families they care so much about.
In the afternoon at pick up time, parents can bring their dogs along and get a treat for their special four-legged friend.
“What we want to do is not only show our parents and community that we are supportive of the animal shelter as a school, and we don’t just love the kids that go to school here, we love their family as well,” said Dianna Hollins, assistant principal of Gray Elementary School. “Their dogs are a part of that and the kids love their pets. We wanted to reach out to them and build those relationships.”
Leslie Poythress, principal of Gray Elementary School, said she and Hollins decided to do this to say thanks to the parents in the community. Poythress said she thinks this will benefit the animals in Jones County.
“We had parents generously giving away money in line to support our community and we decided on the spot to donate that money to our animal shelter. We have a partnership with them already, where we collect donations of food and supplies,” she said.
Poythress said they have another partnership with the shelter where their self-contained class will go and read to the dogs. She said they haven’t been to the new facility yet, but it’s in the works. She said it’s a non-threatening environment for the children who struggle to read and the dogs get some attention.
Hollins said Pup Day acknowleges how important the dogs are to students.
“The kids really do love their pets,” she said. “In my head, I’m seeing people in the community coming by to get treats once a month. We are supporting something the community loves. When we say one team, one heartbeat, we are including the entire community, not just Gray Elementary.”
The administrative team said they haven’t heard of any other schools doing this and thought it would be fun. Poythress dressed up as a dalmation, while Hollins held a sign, played dog-themed music and passed out dog treats.
“I noticed that people would drive up with their dogs in the mornings, and I thought we could do something with them involved. The kids get out of the car and love on mom and dad, but they also love on the dog,” the assistant principal said.
Hollins has a dog of her own and can relate to the people that think of their pets as family. Poythress said this event was an excellent way for the school to show their school spirit in Jones County. The next Pup Day will be Sept. 28 at pick up time. Poythress and Hollins hope to see more dogs there for that day.
“We are the Greyhound Pups, so it’s neat to make this connection. It’s great to bring that outreach and have that Greyhound spirit full front. It really is one team, one heartbeat so it’s important to have that thread throughout the community.”