Furry Friend Brings Smiles and Love of Reading to Peoria

When Carole O’Shea travels from her home to her job as Program Supervisor for Crime Victim Services at Aurora Police Department each morning, one of her most powerful professional assets is curled up in a fluffy ball in the backseat.

O’Shea and Fallina, an 8-year-old golden retriever Labrador mix and trained service dog for APD, were invited to Peoria Elementary to participate in our annual Leaders Are Readers program. The program pairs elementary school students with community leaders to inspire and encourage young readers.

With the help of Fallina, O’Shea read the book called “Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship,” which was inspired by the real-life experience of Jessica Kensky who lost both of her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing and the dog named Rescue who helped with her recovery. O’Shea explained the importance of service dogs like Rescue and Fallina and how they help people who experience significant trauma.

“Fallina helps victims of trauma in Aurora and even brings comfort to police officers whenever they have a bad day,” says O’Shea. “She makes people smile.”

Thank you, Fallina and O’Shea for inspiring our students and supporting our community!

If you would like to sign up for Leaders Are Readers program, visit https://aurorak12.org/leaders-readers.

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