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Dogs loves books too! – Helping children develop a passion for reading

09 October 2018

Canine Concern Scotland established a Reading with Dogs programme in 2016. The programme encourages young children to become more confident with reading. Reading aloud to dogs, creates a comforting environment – it is less stressful for the child and they feel less self-conscious, as they are able to speak to the dog who is non-judgemental and non critical. This comforting environment helps nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading, whilst helping them build confidence.

The reading programme not only helps the individual child, but the whole school benefits. Pupils are happy and excited about the dog’s presence. Parents also noted a difference to their children, who are eager to go to school and are also more willing to read at home.

Canine Concern Scotland received a grant of £2000 from the David Doig Foundation to support their Reading with Dogs Programme at Wallace Well Primary School, Robroyston. Children read to Willow, an old English Sheepdog. Willow is a welcome visitor and is very much part of school life with the pupils looking forward to reading with her.
The programme has been a great success, with teachers noting improvements in children’s reading ability and an increase in focus and confidence in reading aloud.

One parent said “ It’s the only day my daughter willingly wants to come to school” and another commenting “My son smiles and is happy, he is over the moon, after school he comes home and talks to me all about it, without me having to ask questions.”

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