Children's book comes to life for Black Rock students: State troopers and canine partners visit school

K 9 Conn


Black Rock School in Thomaston hosted some special canine guests in October, according to Principal Jon Kozlak.  On Wednesday, October 12, Connecticut State Trooper D.J. Chasse led a program for third graders to introduce them to his partner, Zeus, a German shepherd.  Trooper Chasse, the father of a BRS student, spoke about the important and unique role of a canine partner when fighting crime and what their duties are in their position.  “It was a really fun way to engage the students, especially since the whole third grade just finished reading ‘Officer Buckle and Gloria,’ which they also really enjoyed,” said Third Grade Teacher Paul Biron, who organized the day’s event.  “I would love to do this again in coming years. The children really enjoyed it and they were able to pet the dogs and meet them as well.  It was a unique experience for them.”  The children’s book, written by author Peggy Rathmann, is about an officer and his canine partner that visit a local school, giving safety tips and demonstrations.  Also on hand for demonstrations and questions was Trooper Ed Anuzewski and his canine partner, Tex, who just finished his official training.  Both Zeus and Tex are tracking dogs for the State of Connecticut.  “We are excited that Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski took the time to visit our third graders,” said Mr. Kozlak.  “Our students were engaged and ask thoughtful questions throughout the demonstration.  Programs like this are a great way for kids to connect their learning in the classroom to real-world settings.”  Students also learned what the difference between the two dogs were, since Zeus is a German shepherd and Tex is a bloodhound, the dogs have special abilities because of their breeds.  Students learned the benefits of using each breed to track, and how they were trained and are rewarded differently by their handling troopers.  Mr. Kozlak said that BRS typically offers an educational and entertaining program like this in the fall and again in the spring.  He hopes this program will return for future third grade classes.  “We appreciate the work of law enforcement.  This program was a terrific learning experience for our students.  We thank Troopers Chasse and Anuzewski for giving to our school,” said Mr. Kozlak.  “As always, I was proud of our students for being respectful to our guests and responsive to the program.”