Cocoa brings creative, comforting, caring support

Superintendent Joelle Magyar said the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools continues the process of training the district’s new therapy dog for use throughout the entire district beginning at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

“Cocoa, our loveable new therapy dog, is joining our school family to bring comfort and caring to the many mental health concerns that emerged during the pandemic,” Magyar said. “This, and the fact that the BBHCSD wisely used safety and security grant funding, makes the addition of Cocoa a win-win for everyone in our learning community.”

Magyar said Cocoa, who was named through the collaborative survey input from students, is certain to bring comfort and care to our students and staff and will be housed at the new Brecksville-Broadview Heights Elementary School, which will open for classes this fall. However, the chocolate Labrador retriever will be available at all times for visitations to the entire campus.

Cocoa and her handler, district principal Tina McCauley, are in the process of becoming trained and certified with companion skills that will ultimately serve the social and emotional needs of the district’s youngest students. Her main responsibilities will be to provide psychological and physiological support to students and staff members during times of stress.

“Cocoa will be trained to have a calm temperament and easy-going animal personality so that she can provide affection and comfort,” Magyar said.

While the district will be sensitive to preclude interaction between students with allergies and uneasiness with the dogs, on the whole, Cocoa is expected to have a friendly, loveable and therapeutic relationship with the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools family. 

Magyar encourages the community to follow Cocoa on social media with the following handles:

  • On Instagram: @bbhcocoa
  • On Twitter: @bbhcocoa
  • On Facebook Page: BBH Cocoa. ∞