Animal-Assisted Interaction (AAI)
AAI Application and Information
Informally, canines and classroom pets have been part of Northeast Metro 916’s programs for a number of years as part of social skills instruction, crisis support, and classroom lessons. Since 2007, there has been an increase in a more professional and researched-based approach to working with animals. In 2011/2012, Northeast Metro 916 developed official district AAI policies and procedures. Part of the process included developing on a selection and training process to increase the number of registered AAI teams. The canines involved in the Animal-Assisted Interactions (AAI) program are specifically selected, trained, and in excellent health in order to participate effectively and safely. They must meet the aptitude; size, age, and skill level, required for their participation to be beneficial. Following the completion of all required elements of the Northeast Metro 916 AAI program, four teams received individualized, on-site professional development in the spring of 2013. This specialized training was delivered by Tanya Bailey, MSW, LICSW, and AAI consultant with the University of MN. Four teams are now officially the first to complete 916’s AAI Team training. A very special thank you to the 916 Education Foundation for funding the development of the AAI program and training. This work would not be happening without your support!