Siberian Husky Becomes Unofficial Mascot of Indiana School

More on PawNation: kokomo, mckinley school adopts mascot, siberian husky

SIberian Husky dog picture

Tim Bath, Kokomo Tribune / AP

An alternative school for at-risk students in Kokomo, Ind. is benefiting from a new classroom sidekick: an 11-month-old Siberian husky named Kenai who attends each and every day.

Originally brought in by Donita Walters, an 8th-grade teacher who was teaching her class about the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, Kenai now roams the halls of the McKinley Alternative School daily, helping to create a calm, supportive, positive environment in which to learn.

"I have not had an attendance problem this year," Walters recently told the Associated Press. She adopted Kenai from a rescue group, and the dog lives with her in her home at night. "The kids want to come to school. I think there's a lot going on they don't want to miss." That includes projects like building a dog sled for Kenai, which served as a lesson in both geometry and teamwork.

McKinley's principal, Rick Hagenow, is also on board with the mascot mutt. "I think the dog adds a dimension to the school that goes beyond the classroom," he told the AP. "He really is like the school dog now."

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