Dogs Give Young Students Reading Confidence

Great Dane Big Boy listens carefully to a young reader.

photo via Augusta Chronicle

To help boost literacy and confidence in young readers, Wheeless Road Elementary School in Augusta, Georgia has launched a program in which students read aloud to therapy dogs. Studies have shown that the use of therapy dogs can improve reading fluency, and the anecdotal evidence makes it perfectly clear:

George Pace, who spent Thursday at school with his son, said he immediately saw a change in his kindergartner’s demeanor as he read to Big Boy, a 175-pound Great Dane.

While normally shy and reluctant, he was different when he sat next to Big Boy.

“The dog absolutely grabs his attention,” Pace said. “It’s easier for him to read to the dog than it is to read to us.”

One of the great things about this is it’s something you could apply easily in your own home (or a dog-owning friend’s home). Have any of you suggested your kids read to your pups? It seems like a great way to build confidence and encourage reading in a non-intimidating, fun way. Read the full story here.


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