Do you have a well-behaved, fairly obedient dog that likes to be around children? Do you have a couple of hours free each week of the school terms? Then you and your dog could help the children of Northpine Christian College become confident, accomplished readers. If you are keen but not sure your dog is up to it at the moment, call or email story dog coordinator. Also check out the web page for lots of info on Story Dogs: www.storydogs.org.au
There is a process to go through, and all dogs need to pass an assessment, but you are supported through the process by your coordinator.
Story Dogs is a volunteer program started in 2009 in Murwillumbah, NSW; it is based on an American program called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) which has been going for 15 years. Story Dogs improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method – reading to lovable, gentle dogs. Why dogs? Learning to read is often less about intellectual limitation than about overcoming fears. “Fear can destroy intelligence,” says educator William Ayers. Animals are ideal reading companions because they help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure, listen attentively, do not judge, laugh or criticise, allow children to proceed at their own pace, and are less intimidating than peers or adults. (source: w.therapyanimals.org/read/). The targeted age group is Year 2.
Story Dog coordinator Northwest Brisbane