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Posts Tagged ‘R.E.A.D’

Some of you will know that I’m a total sucker when it comes to dogs.   And the idea of having one in the library ….. well ….. I’m all for it!

So when I came across an article about Therapy Dogs assisting children with reading problems in The Morning Journal, an online newspaper from Ohio, my heart kind of melted.  Trained in the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program, otherwise known by its acronym – R.E.A.D. – dogs have been taught to be interested in books.  Quoting the owner of the dog showcased in the accompanying video, Genie Taggert says:

“The idea is that the students can read in front of the dog and not be embarrassed or feel inadequate,” Taggart said. “The dog isn’t going to judge them.”

Having my curiosity piqued by this article, I went on the hunt to see if Dog Therapy was operating anywhere else.  Sure enough, I discovered this great video produced in Vermont which highlights the impact that Pepper the Dalmation has been having on a range of children who have reading difficulties.   The rave comments by both teachers and young students certainly sound convincing.  Just some of them claim that the dog:

  • provides a different experience to reading in front of adults
  • allows the reader to build their self confidence
  • is a non-threatening, calm, patient, non-judgemental listener
  • lends moral support
  • doesn’t laugh, ridicule or give negative responses when the reader makes mistakes
  • provides an audience for a struggling reader
  • enables the reader to relax therefore making reading more enjoyable
  • reduces feeling of nervousness or embarrassment

I’d be very interested to hear if any of you have used dogs in a therapeutic way to help students overcome their reading difficulties.  Meantime, take the time to view this video about Pepper the Dalmation:

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