The HALT Program comes out of Tennessee and I wish we had it here in Texas. Heck, I wish it was operating in every state, in every community.
HALT, "Humans and Animals Learning Together," is a non-profit program supported by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. It's been a very successful program since its inception in 1987.
HALT puts foster kids together with shelter dogs who need some behavior training before they can become adoptable as pets. The dogs have all the necessary screenings (medical and otherwise) prior to teaming up with their "student trainers," who likewise have been prepared with training classes, etc.
While the kids can't adopt their trainees, both get a lot out of the program. The dogs learn skills that they need to be better adoption prospects.
The kids learn skills like patience, discipline, responsibility. And, they also get that unconditional love that dogs so freely give.
Amy McRary recently wrote a good article about HALT for the Knoxville News Sentinel. It's worth the read.
For more info about HALT, visit its website and look at its link to coverage in Southern Living magazine. The SL article has a lot of nice photos.