A golden retriever named Pearl is a gem at one Moncton elementary school


Posted February 22, 2023 3:35 pm

Updated February 23, 2023 7:18 am

Click to play video: 'A golden retriever named Pearl becomes permanent member of N.B. kindergarten class'

A golden retriever named Pearl becomes permanent member of N.B. kindergarten class

WATCH: A four-legged classmate is bringing a sense of calm to a New Brunswick kindergarten class as long as they keep an eye on their lunches. Shelley Steeves reports.

A four-legged classmate is bringing a sense of calm to a New Brunswick kindergarten, as long as the students keep their eyes on their lunches.

An eight-year-old golden retriever named Pearl has been a permanent member of Loralee Druart’s kindergarten class at Birchmount School in Moncton for the past four years.

“She was a perfect fit for going to school every day,” said Druart, who owns Pearl and decided to start bringing her to school with her principal’s approval.

Every day of the school year Pearl arrives to class with Druart to help her fellow students manage the stress that comes with transitioning into the classroom.

“The first day of school the kids can be very nervous about that, especially in kindergarten and I watch them go right to her and they will sit on the dog bed with her and pat her, just a comfort,” said Druart.

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Pearl brings a real sense of calm to the often active kindergarten class, she said.

“You know we have big emotions every day so she is a big comfort for just for kindergarten but we have students from other grades who will come to see her,” she said.

Pearl with her kindergarten class. Birchmount School

Her mere presence in the hallways is grounding for the whole school.

Pearl even has her own Instagram account, Everyone needs a Pearl, where Druart posts videos of her dog spreading her enthusiasm for life on the playground and in the hallways.

“It shows her life here at the school with all the kids of all age,” she said.

Christa Martin, the principal at the school, said Pearl has also been a wonderful teaching tool for the students and she is the perfect cuddly reading buddy.

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“I think animals in the school are amazing.”

Martin said students with allergies are welcomed in the kindergarten class next door and are taught to love Pearl from afar. She said the entire school feels a sense of calm with Pearl in the building and she serves as emotional support for students of all grades who may be struggling with anxiety.

Pearl even helps make the rounds for lunchtime duty. Crumb cleanup in the kindergarten class is her favourite part of the day, joked Druart.

“The table is at just the right height so we have lost a chicken burger and we have lost a muffin but the parents are wonderful and we learn about the word ‘flexible’ and they are very flexible during those moments,” she said.

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