Melody Teh

News

Tue, 23 Jun, 2015

Dogs help teach reading skills to primary school children

Dogs help teach reading skills to primary school children

For young children just starting school, learning to read can be a daunting task. But a program, called Story Dogs, in Queensland is bringing the most loveable and non-judgemental reading companions into the classroom to help year one students gain confidence in reading.

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Once a week, dogs are brought into 15 schools across Queensland to help improve focus, confidence and literacy skills in young children. So far 75 children participate in the program, reading aloud to the dog and its owner for 20 minutes each week.

Brisbane south coordinator Graham Mathias said the program had made a huge difference to the children, not only helping their reading skills but letting them interact with a furry friend.

“We find that students who go to Story Dogs class are usually up and reading in the class within two weeks,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane.

“Some haven't read in class since they started school so it brings their confidence up as dogs don't judge.”

Grade one student Evelyn loved reading with a dog.

“The first time it was embarrassing because I was so shy but when I starting reading a lot I wasn't getting confused,” she said.

“Sometimes he (the dog) closes his eyes and dreams and other times he sits down next to us.

“My reading has improved a lot – I didn't like dogs but now I do.”

Year one students are learning to read with the help of dogs. Evelyn reds to dog team - Val and Doug

Dougal the dog with his owner Val and student Evelyn.

Image credit: Terri Begley, 612 ABC Brisbane

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