Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

I’ve written a few posts over the last year about ‘Reading Dogs’ and how they can assist chidren having difficulty reading.  With those programs being US based, I’ve often wondered whether there was anything similar happening here in Australia.

To my delight, a parent at my school – thanks Nancy! – has alerted me to Reading Labs, an Australian initiative which sets out to boost the reading confidence of young students.

As stated on its web page, this program aims:

  • To improve the literacy rate of children with reading difficulties through an innovative ‘reading to dogs’ program.
  • To lay a foundation for a lifetime of learning and ultimately enhance the quality of the children’s lives.

Launched back in 2009 at Clayton North Primary School in Victoria by well known and much loved Australian author Andy Griffiths, the byline on the program’s webpage tells us that:

‘Reading Labs’, are the well trained helpers reeling in reluctant readers – book, line and sinker.  Reading Labs is an innovative educational program where Assistance Dogs in the community visit schools with their team mate (recipient), helping students with reading difficulties.

I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has used dogs to help their students develop their reading.

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Just a few days ago, I wrote about cats in the Library.  Well…. hold  your breath!  Meet Monty, who in addition to living in a basket behind the circulation desk, will be available for loan to students at Yale University Law School!

Holding his very own catalogue entry, the description for Monty reads:
1 dog (border terrier mix) : brown hair, 21 lbs. ; 33 cm at shoulder
Notes on the catalogue entry state:
Monty circulates for 30 minute periods
Graduate of Puppy School, 2000 (with honors), Certified Therapy Dog, 2010

Intended as a proactive move by the Library to help students reduce their stress levels, Monty will be available for “check out” for 30 minutes periods in the same way that books are checked out.  Students at the Yale Law School Library have been enthusiastically signing up to check out Monty a “certified library therapy dog”.  Reported extensively on the web, abc NEWS/Health quoted the hope of law librarian, Blair Kauffman, “that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program would be a positive addition to current services offered by the library”.

This reminds of a the wonderful maintenance worker in a school I was working in some years ago, who had a cute Jack Russell who followed him around the school as he completed his many and varied chores.  On the occasions they visited the library this cute little dog would bound in with verve and energy that never failed to evoke smiles of joy on the faces of Library patrons!

Hmmmmm….   Maybe our school library needs a four legged friend as either a resident or as an item for loan?

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