Posted: Sun 26th Jun 2016

Dogs Reading Books Around County Schools

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 26th, 2016

A giant Bernese Mountain Dog and a fuzz haired Border Terrier have been helping children to read in schools across Carmarthenshire. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Layla, the laid-back Bernese Mountain Dog and Riley, an inquisitive Border Terrier, have been making young friends all over the Carmarthenshire as part of Volunteer Week, June 1-12. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During this time, Volunteering Matters launched Reading with Dogs, a partnership with Learn Together Cymru, a volunteer supported community learning project, to help improve literacy in schools across the county. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Carmarthenshire Therapy Dogs are going into local schools as reading volunteers to support children with their basic skills. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Community resilience officer Susan Smith and Layla’s owner said: “We provide a relaxed and dog-friendly atmosphere, which allows children to practice their reading. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Many, but not all, of the children chosen for this program have difficulties reading and as a result have developed self-esteem issues. They are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other classmates. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“By sitting down next to a dog and reading to the dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on the reading.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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