Nathan, Rachel, Hope, Jade and Lachie pictured with the newest additions to the Specialist School family; guinea pigs Levi and Tex.  Ms082916

Nathan, Rachel, Hope, Jade and Lachie pictured with the newest additions to the Specialist School family; guinea pigs Levi and Tex. Ms082916

WHEN VCAL student Jade Albrey heard about the guinea pigs that were stolen from the Bass Coast Specialist School, she felt that something ought to be done.
“I just felt really bad for the kids,” Jade said.
“I read the story in the paper and on Facebook, and decided that I could help.”
After spending time with other Chisholm TAFE VCAL students at a mentoring program held at the specialist school, Jade became aware of how important and special the animals were to the students, and has subsequently donated two brand new guinea pigs to the school.
The two guinea pigs, named Tex and Levi, were donated by Jade, along with a larger outdoor hutch and a smaller, more portable one that can easily be moved indoors during the evening.
Students squealed with glee as Jade unveiled the two newest additions to the school, and tenderly helped to place them in their brand new hutch.
Edith Gray, principal at the Bass Coast Specialist School, says that the animals at the school are integral to the students’ learning.
“We use the animals as therapy, to help the students.
“If someone becomes upset or agitated, we get them to sit quietly and simply hold one of the animals,” Ms Gray said.
“It’s also about teaching them how to handle the animals. They’re an important part of what we do here at the school.”
The two guinea pigs were donated after the previous pair owned by the school was stolen away in the dead of night back in May.
The missing guinea pigs were never retrieved.