Graduating from pre-kindergarten is always a big milestone. Sadly for many students who are graduating as part of the class of 2020, their graduation ceremonies have been reduced to online affairs – because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
But not all happiness was lost. In the spirit of celebration, a class of pre-kindergarten students in Brooklyn received a surprise guest delivery from Tank the bulldog. The pup works as a comfort dog with the special needs students of Brooklyn’s Daily Discovery Pre-K. He’s had a very important job in recent weeks going from house to house dropping off the young graduates’ diplomas. Assisting the teachers of the school, Tank has been personally visiting all the students who’ve been in lockdown. Besides bringing them their diplomas, he’s also been dropping off toys, books, and other personal effects that the students might have left at school prior to lockdown.
Accompanying the pooch is Jillian Conigliaro, Tank’s owner as well as a special education teacher. Conigliaro shared that Tank is an important member of the school community who would’ve been part of the ceremony proceedings, had there been a graduation, therefore it was important that he partakes in the diploma drops. Many of the students at the school absolutely adore the dog, so it was a nice send-off for many to see their favorite pooch just before they start kindergarten in autumn.
Conigliaro said to Spectrum News 1, “It’s emotional because you know you want to run up and you want to hug the kids, and we want to do all the things we normally do, like have lunch with them and play with them and learn with them in school, but this is the next best thing.”
Many of the students were thrilled to see Tank, like Savanna Moody. Her mother, Danielle Dimino, told Spectrum News 1 that the young girl was delighted to get a chance to say goodbye to Tank before she went off to kindergarten. And Dimino was happy her daughter got that chance to say a proper farewell. Another student, Micaela Messina, was also tickled pink when Tank showed up at her door with her diploma. The young child even had treats waiting for Tank as he made his way around to her place.
Besides lots of joy, Tank had graduation caps for the students as well. They were the kind that they could decorate themselves in order to wear to the online graduation ceremony.
Conigliaro said, “We want to celebrate the kids no matter what. We don’t get to celebrate them in person this year at graduation at school but the next best thing is being able to see them graduate at their homes and seeing their little faces light up, even from behind a mask.”
Even though this year’s festivities will be online, Tank will still be there to witness his class take their next steps into kindergarten. No doubt this pooch is proud of every single one of them!