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Wrong Judith Ziffer?

Dr. Judith Ziffer

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Background Information

Employment History

Guidance Counselor


Guidance Counselor

Cypress Elementary School

Guidance Counselor

Cypress Elementary School

Web References (7 Total References)

Sausalito Shores - News Feeds [cached]

Judith Ziffer, a guidance counselor at Kissimmee,s Cypress Elementary, needs to lean on her dog Cyrus to keep her balance as she walks, but her black Newfoundland helps her in more ways than that.

Osceola News Gazette [cached]

Dr. Judy Ziffer, a guidance counselor at Cypress Elementary and Cyrus' handler, said the program, Cyrus Assisting Reading Education, is the only known one of its kind in the area.

Cyrus, who is 4 years old, also is a service dog, and is one of eight Newfoundland dogs that live with Ziffer.Cyrus is also an international champion, can pull a cart and is currently training in water rescue.
Each Wednesday, about a dozen third-graders identified as those who need additional help improving their reading skills are plucked from the school's four third-grade classes and sit around a large rectangular table in the media center and read books while patting Cyrus who stretches out atop the table.The club meets for 40 minutes before leaving to make way for the fourth- and fifth-grade classes that follow.
"For most, English is not their first language - that's a lot to accomplish by (the age of) 8 or 9," Ziffer said.
The majority of the children in the program are considered "at-risk" of completing their current grade level and progressing to the next grade.
"The idea is for children to become interested in reading around a subject of interest," Ziffer said."We use him in many different ways - to motivate kids and for kids having a particularly rough time.Children also talk about how (Cyrus) makes them feel better."
While helping struggling readers improve is the top concern for the CARE program, educators also hope the extra reading time will help students improve their FCAT skills while gaining self-confidence.Ziffer said petting Cyrus while the children read also helps the children calm their nerves.
"He's very easy going and has a calming effect.Research indicates that dogs preserve a non-judgmental presence - they won't criticize while they read.Those that are nervous usually touch the dog to calm themselves," Ziffer said.
Ziffer said the program also stresses the care that dogs require and how people have the same needs, and how to treat living things with respect.Pet overpopulation also is addressed during the club sessions.
"Our hope is that all of this will create an excitement and interest in reading," Ziffer said.

Dr. Judith Ziffer, guidance ... [cached]

Dr. Judith Ziffer, guidance counselor at Cypress Elementary School, and Joy Penney-Wietor, Osceola County's district counselor, will be presenting a session at the American Counseling Association meeting in Detroit.

Cyrus, Dr. Ziffer's service dog, will join them for the presentation.

5 Kissimmee teachers win Disney prize - Orlando Sentinel : Tourism [cached]

Judith Ziffer, a guidance counselor at Kissimmee's Cypress Elementary, needs to lean on her dog Cyrus to keep her balance as she walks, but her black Newfoundland helps her in more ways than that.Cyrus has been an integral part of a mentoring program used at Cypress to make sure students stay motivated at school.

On Saturday, her efforts paid off as she and four colleagues received Disney's Teacherrific Award, a $15,000 grant given annually to a teacher or group of teachers in each of five Central Florida counties for outstanding work.
"I can't believe this," said Ziffer, beaming as she had her picture taken.
Ziffer, 59, was selected for using her dog to teach students about animals' role in society as well as their care.
"Animals are living things, and so are people," said Ziffer.

Osceola News Gazette [cached]

Cypress Elementary guidance counselors Judith Ziffer and Joy Wietor were recognized for their presentation at the American Counseling Association.

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