There was a special delivery Thursday for some pre-kindergarten students in Brooklyn, courtesy of a burly bulldog named Tank.
Tank is a comfort dog that works with special-needs students at Brooklyn's Daily Discovery Pre-K.
This week, he's been making house calls, helping teachers deliver diplomas to pre-K graduates who have been stuck at home for months.
"I can’t imagine a graduation without Tank. A lot of the kids have a really close relationship with him at school. He’s something they look forward to every day," Jillian Conigliaro, a special education teacher at Brooklyn's Daily Discovery Pre-K, said.
Tank is Conigliaro's dog.
With the coronavirus forcing the cancellation of the usual in-person graduation ceremony, her canine-inclusive caravan has been a way for Conigliaro and her fellow teachers to see their students off as they head to kindergarten in September.
"It’s emotional, because you know you want to run up and you want to hug the kids, and we want to do all the things we normally do, like have lunch with them and play with them and learn with them in school, but this is the next best thing," she said.
Tank's presence takes it to the next level for students like Savanna Moody.
"Oh my God, she loves him. Every day she would come home from school and talk about Tank," said Savanna's mom, Danielle Dimino. "Tank, Tank, Tank, Tank, Tank. And I think it’s wonderful that they brought him here. She gets to say goodbye to him, she loves him. So I think it was a wonderful thing that they did."
Another student, Micaela Messina, couldn't contain her excitement as she tossed treats to Tank.
In addition to bringing joy, Tank and the teachers also are dropping off toys, books, and of course, graduation caps students will decorate ahead of an online graduation celebration.
"We want to celebrate the kids no matter what. We don’t get to celebrate them in person this year in a graduation at school but the next best thing is being able to see them in a graduation at their homes and seeing their little faces light up, even from behind a mask," Conigliaro said.
The official pre-K graduation is next week, and Tank will be there, virtually, to cheer his students on.