A doggone good idea


Shannon Morrison

A student works to shape dog treats in the classroom.

“Woodlands Wags” began as a program at TWHS that has students creating dog treats, which began as a way for special education students to engage in a variety of ways, and has recently expanded to the Powell, Mitchell and McCullough special education students to offer dog treats to their campus staff.

“It was created for the students to engage in meaningful and vocational training on campus”,
teacher Melissa Powell said.

The program is used as a way for students to RISE and improve their various skills. RISE represents an intensive intervention program, which focuses on the development of essential everyday skills. Such as improvement of skills in communication, behavior, and social interactions. The program uses principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Structured Teaching to help address the student’s needs. Functional Skills are addressed through individualized IEP instruction.

“The goal of our RISE SBE is to assist students with establishing and maintaining independence”, said Powell. A ‘real world’ hands-on activity with in-school learning. The main purpose of this program is to help establish a “productive adulthood”.

Their mission is to make high quality treats for dogs using all-natural ingredients. The goal is to sell a minimum of 36 bags of dog treats per week within a school year. Woodlands Wags will achieve its goal through positive reinforcement and learning experiences, teamwork, and support,” Powell said.

The Woodlands Wags will use these funds to support their students and their needs to achieve greatness, such as purchasing sensory items, miscellaneous classroom needs, and cooking supplies.

“By bringing this program to people’s attention, my hope is that this will inspire students to make a difference in their community,” Powell said.

Email [email protected] for more information.