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Barbara Techel is the author of the multi-award winning Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. When her dachshund, Frankie, suffered a spinal injury, Barbara had her custom-fitted for a wheelchair. Frankie persevered, and Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she had to share Frankie and give others hope and inspiration to be the best they can be. Along with sharing Frankie’s story with children, Barbara and Frankie routinely volunteer as a therapy dog team at a local hospital, senior assisted facility, and hospice community, spreading joy wherever they go.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog Visits Brooklyn Elementary School Via Skype and "In-Dog"

Brooklyn Elementary School was a highly anticipated event for my mom and I.  We could hardly wait for the big day to arrive when we would meet all the kiddo's in-person and err, "in-dog."  Arf!

Third grade teacher, Joyce Gilmour and the PTO have a special program called P.A.W.S which stands for "Positive Attitude + Work = Success."  Each year they pick a theme and this years theme was to encourage the children about the bucket filling concept based on Bucket Fillers 101.

My books messages were a perfect fit for their program since I encourage kiddo's to be positive despite challenges, and I also encourage finding a way to give back even when facing challenges.

To kick off the event my mom and I connected with the school in December via Skype and my mom read my book, Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog to the whole school.
Then in Janurary we connected with the school once again via Skype, and this time my mom read them my second book, Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House.

As part of their bucket filling projects Brooklyn Elementary chose Families-In-Need-of-Assistance which helps their local families who are struggling, and help with paying for food, gas, etc. They will be doing a Walk-A-Thon soon to help raise money for the program.

They also chose REACH-a-Child which "aims to put smiles on the faces of children in crisis across America through the power of books. Whether the children are in the hospital, victims of domestic disturbance, or automobile accident or temporarily homeless, REACH a Child wants to help the first responders engage these children in a positive way."

The BIG DAY finally arrived when we made the 2-hour drive to Brooklyn, WI to see the kiddo's live!  We heard there was much anticipation of the special day with many kiddo's asking days before what day they would meet us.

When we arrived we saw the big donation box for books and oodles of books surrounding the box on the floor that will benefit REACH-a-Child program.  I donated to sets of my books, along with a stack of other gently used dog books my mom had in her home library.

Here I am donating to REACH-a-Child!  Hot-diggity dog fun!

As we moved down the hallway the walls were lined with bucket cut outs in all colors with one representing each child and their bucket filling efforts for the year.  So inspiring!  And then as we neared the end of the hallway, there on the wall were pictures of me and my mom!  Perfect time for a picture for me to pose with extraordinary third grade teacher of 36-years, Mrs. Joyce Gilmour.  BTW:  Mrs. Gilmour will be retiring this year and we wish her the best of luck!

I love Mrs. Gilmour!

My mom and I did two presentations that day and enjoyed each and every moment. One of the most touching moments was meeting a little girl who had a brain tumor removed earlier that year.  She is now in remission and we are praying that she will continue to recover and heal.  Please keep her in your prayers.  

The kiddo's had FANTASTIC questions!  My mom got all choked up when one young boy asked if my mom would rather have a Frankie that walks or one in a wheelchair.  She told the audience that of course she wished with all her heart that I could walk normal again, but she wouldn't trade one single moment of what she has had with me... and someday she hopes to adopt another special needs dachshund.

To round out the perfect day we were presented with thank you cards, which always brings tears to my mom's eyes.  We LOVE getting thank you cards and letters.  Once we got home, Mom read each and everyone of them to me.  Then it was time for another photo session!

Posing with all my special thank you cards!

Thank you, Brooklyn Elementary for a wonderful day!  It was the best meeting all of you, and my mom and I are so proud of all your bucket filling efforts!  Keep up the great work!


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