Where it started...
The Ted's Space programme began in 2017 when Founder and Creator Elizabeth McKee began using her pet therapy dog Teddy in the classroom to support some of her shy, neuro-diverse, gifted students and young readers who were struggling to cope and thrive in the classroom environment.
Over the years as the programme encountered more students with unique and differentiated needs the role of Ted’s Space grew into a specialised and bespoke Classroom Emotional Support Programme, with a clear understanding of holistic child-centred education.
After a successful Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) funded pilot programme in 2019 Ted’s Space became a self-funding programme, allowing teacher and dog handler Elizabeth McKee time and funding to come out of the classroom and give students and the Ted’s Space programme unique and individual attention.
Strategies learned through the Ted’s Space programme make learning achievable, allowing students to reach their full potential. Students learn skills they can assimilate into their classroom and home environment, with many Ted’s Space students sharing their unique experiences with the teachers and whānau. This sharing of learning further enhances the positive outcomes of Ted’s Space.
"Our dream is to see Ted's Space accessible to all kiwi kids, whether in person or online with a range of interactive resources."
Elizabeth McKee, Founder
Ted's Space is incredibly beneficial for our children because it provides a unique and nurturing environment where they can engage in activities with support dogs in a safe and supportive environment. These experiences not only promote physical well-being but also facilitate personal growth, resilience, and meaningful connections. Our program fosters a strong sense of unity, encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle, and delivers valuable educational opportunities. Through animal-assisted therapy and interactive activities, Ted's Space creates moments of joy and learning that leave a lasting positive impact on our children's lives.