On Friday, May 20, K9 Connection, an OPCC pilot project in which at-risk teenagers work with homeless shelter dogs, held its graduation ceremonies at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica.The three-week course is designed to build self-confidence in the students, as they prepare the dogs to be adopted by families. The program combines a mixture of classroom activities and hands-on training of dogs recruited from local animal shelters and pet adoption agencies. Among the lessons learned by the students are an awareness of both the risks of uncontrolled and impulsive behavior and the power of positive reinforcement as an alternative to force and violence.
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