GOAT-ed mental health event at Fremont


Many people know that having a pet can bring them joy, however, pets can also help one’s health. On March 16, FHS partnered with a local farm, Animal Assisted Happiness, to help students reduce stress and to give them time to have fun. A similar event was planned by Lynbrook High School previously, and its success influenced Fremont’s ASB to plan a similar event.

Naomi Nishikawa, a junior at Fremont, was the project coordinator for the animal visit. Nishikawa booked the visit, helped coordinate the event and communicated with the people working at the farm to ensure the event ran smoothly.

“At first I was a little bit scared, I didn’t know how people were going to react to having a petting zoo at school and I thought that it might get a little bit out of hand,” Nishikawa said. “But I think it went really well. I had a lot of fun.”

She also said that the turnout was a lot more than expected and that the event ended up being a huge success, which means that there is a good chance for similar events in the future.

Students and teachers alike loved the AAH farm visit.

“It was cool because animals cheer me up, so being able to see animals in school made me feel overjoyed,” freshman Jack Grignon said.

Grignon also thinks that the petting zoo should come to the school at least once a month.

Ms. Zea, a student-teacher for Mr. Clark, was also at the petting zoo and shared how she felt.

“I didn’t remember that the petting zoo was happening and I was having a kind of rough morning so it was awesome,” Zea said. “It felt really nice to be able to not have to go anywhere. You forget that you can just pet an animal and it will make you feel better.”

Zea also shared her thoughts on the AAH project in general. “I feel like you can learn a lot about yourself and how you treat other people by working with animals,” Zea said.

“I just felt like it was a moment where everyone from school, no matter who they normally talk to, who they engage with, was in one spot hanging out with animals and you just know that when you are with an animal, you are almost a better person.”

Pets have various benefits for one’s health. At Fremont, many people found the petting zoo instantly benefitted to their mental health, making them happier. Animals can also improve your health, from taking a daily walk with a pet to even trying goat yoga. Regardless, it is nice to see that schools are doing their part to help positively affect their student’s mental health.