Villa Rica Middle School has welcomed a furry friend into its classes to help one girl live her life as a normal student.
Brianah Moore, 14 and an eighth-grader at the school, can attend classes now stress-free thanks to her service dog, Julia, whom she calls Juju.
“It is wonderful that Brianah had Juju because we believe that every child deserves an education,” said Villa Rica Middle Principal Greta Jackson. “Juju helps Brianah in school so she can attend school like any normal student would. Now she has the learning opportunity like everyone else.”
Juju is the first service dog Carroll County Schools has had.
Jackson said Juju has created educational opportunities for other students because many were unaware of the role that a service dog plays.
“We do spend a great deal of time educating the other students about what a service dog is and what the parameters are, such as no touching or feeding because Brianah does eat lunch with us. So we want to make sure that the other students are on the same page.”
As Juju does her job, Brianah is able to move from classroom to classroom and immerse herself in learning, just as any other student would.
“Juju helps me in the classroom,” Brianah said. “My friends and classmates like her and they are tempted to pet her, but they don’t. I tell them that it is good having a service dog.”
Brianah has had Juju since she was 7 weeks old. The dog is now 2 years old.
“Juju really helps me with my anxiety,” Brianah said. “My favorite thing in school is science because I absolutely love experiments. I love to watch Bill Nye and learn about science.”
Juju goes everywhere with Brianah such as field trips and on the bus, but Brianah said that Juju does not go in church, the operating room or the MRI room.
“She is my best friend,” Brianah said. “When we go on the bus, she sits in my wheelchair as I sit on the bus seat. At night, she also sleeps next to me.”
Brianah’s mother, Angel Moore, said that the schools made things easy when it came to registering Juju.
“It was actually very easy to register Julia with the school system,” said Angel Moore. “As I had signed Brianah up at the county office, Brianah asked if she could take her dog to school and they said yes. They were so excited because they had the paperwork on hand in case the need arises, but this was the first time they used the form. They were just as excited as we were. Without her, Brianah’s anxiety is so bad that she could not attend school, and we are thankful to have Juju in school.”