BOYLSTON - It's a stressful time for students with the holidays and finals around the corner.
Some schools in the area are using new techniques to help students with their emotions.
At Tahanto Regional Middle School, goldendoodle Hannah has been the school's therapy dog for the past two years and many students and faculty have seen a positive change in students since she's been there.
Hannah greets students in the morning, lunch periods and sometimes during passing periods. Students can also come down the school therapists' office to see Hannah for emotional support.
She helps when students are going through a difficult time or experiencing trauma. Therapy dogs receive about one to two years of training like service dogs and are tested on skills like knowing commands and being comfortable in different situations.
Hannah belongs to School Psychologist Kimberly Trainor, who says bringing Hannah to Tahanto makes all the difference.
"Having that non-judgmental, always happy to see you, very positive energy that Hannah gives off has really helped a few students through taking breaks or interacting with her when the student is about to shut down," Trainor said.
Tahanto Regional principal Diane Tucceri said, "Students are experiencing anxiety at a younger and younger age. The little things we can do as a school district, you know, if Hannah is the reason some kids come to school, that's enough."
Tahanto is also working to tackle student anxiety in other ways. They hold refresh days where students take part in activities like meditation, aromatherapy, and relaxing exercise.
Hannah is at the school one to two days a week and students say seeing her makes their day.