EASTCHESTER, N.Y. First-graders at Waverly Elementary School were visited by a New York City celebrity Wednesday, as Schmitty the Weather Dog helped meteorologist Ron Trotta teach students about various weather patterns.
The 6-year-old terrier, and her 10-month-old younger sister, Baby Schmitty, joined Trotta in the Waverly gym as he explained details about the sun, clouds, rain, snow and lightning.
There was small doses of knowledge and weather education mixed with large doses of eye candy and cute puppies, he joked after the assembly. Im very happy and impressed with the children. We had about 250 6-year-olds and they were all engaged and recognized some of the elements.
Kim Cinguina, vice president of the PTAs cultural arts committee, said the dogs helped keep the kids interested and listening to the presentation.
The use of the dogs was very engaging for the students, she said. Its the middle of June, and theres only a few days left of school. I think this assembly was perfect for this time of the year.
Trotta, who is a freelance meteorologist with ABC News, and the official weatherman for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, showed students a slideshow of the weather teams travels, with the terrier wearing a variety of elaborate outfits . He showed them how clouds are made of water vapor by showing a slide of his dog in a rain slicker, and had Schmitty in her finest sunglasses and beach wear as he discussed the importance of the sun.
Anything like this is about creating memories and giving the kids a fun morning, said Sallianne McClelland, one of the PTA volunteer who helped organize the event. He taught them the basics of the weather and about loving their pet and working to include their pets in their interests.
At the end of his weather presentation, Schmitty showed off some of her best tricks for the kids. She displayed her impressive discipline as she sat, stood on her hind legs and stayed still as a statue at Trottas command. Her finest trick concluded the presentation, as both Schmitty and Baby Schmitty ran from her owners feet, rang a bell a few feet away and high-fived each other.
Trotta said he hopes the children learned a little bit about the weather and a lot about the importance of taking care of animals.
I hope the kids take away that its fun to do things with dogs, whether its reading to them, hiking or just throwing a ball to them, he said. They will figure out the weather as they get older, their level of weather knowledge was already impressive. Its important that we do things with our pets; its when we dont that they land in shelters.
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