Story Dogs making reading fun for children
Do you own a nice friendly dog that loves children? Then you may like to join ‘Story Dogs’, a literacy program that makes reading fun for children, encouraging them to become lifelong readers. Under the programme, owners with lovely dogs are matched with students in local schools.
Story Dog owner, Julie Anne Simpson (pictured right) says, “when a child reads to a dog, the outcomes are amazing! It’s a non-judgemental setting, the child’s focus improves, their literacy skills increase and their confidence soars. The accepting, loving nature of dogs gives this program its magic and helps children relax, open up, try harder and have fun while reading to a friendly, calm dog.”
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 promote relaxation and lower blood pressure, do not judge, laugh or criticise and allow children to proceed at their own pace.”
You can find out more about Story Dogs on their website at www.storydogs.org.au where you can volunteer with your dog to be part of the programme, help fund ‘Story Dogs’ or suggest the programme be added to your child’s school.