Charitable Giving

Kansas school welcomes calming comfort dog

Susan Simpson

Students at Moundridge Middle School in central Kansas have a new classmate this year – and she’s guaranteed to bring smiles and tail-wagging.

Paisley is a one-year-old facility dog trained to ease stress and anxiety in students. She is under the care of Syndi Wilson, a fourth-grade teacher and wife of employee Steve Wilson.

With Williams help, Paisley was acquired from a breeder that trains dogs in “good citizenship.”

“She loves kids, that’s for sure,” said Syndi Wilson. “Kids are anxious and stressed for many reasons, including lingering trauma from the pandemic and fears over school safety. Paisley is very intuitive and picks up on that stress and anxiety and has a calming effect.”

School principal Hilarie Hecox said Paisley – a golden retriever, Pyrenees and poodle mix – is a welcome addition and will provide both physical and emotional health benefits.

“Studies show the presence of a facility dog promotes a positive mood and provides significant anti-stress effects on the body,” she said. “Paisley will work with kids who are upset to help reduce frustration, feelings of anxiety and allow them to focus on learning.”

Steve Wilson, a health and safety specialist for Williams, applied for a Homegrown Giving Grant from Williams and said he’s pleased Williams supports charitable endeavors important to employees and their communities.

Read more about our community support in our latest Community Investments Report.