On Saturday 30th November CCST took part in a reading with dogs events at Larbert Library. The event was to try to encourage young readers who lacked confidence with reading to come along to the library and, instead of reading to a person, read to a dog. The idea was the dog would listen to them and not judge, allowing them to relax and gain confidence in reading out loud.
Therapets Pixie and Abby along with their owner Jim Fleming, Stirlingshire Area Representative Lynsey Thomson and Trustee James Macdonald took part on the day. Four children took part and they were a mixture of new readers and children who found reading more challenging.
Pixie and Abby were the perfect listeners and settled themselves down for a little story time as the children read to them. The biggest impact came with the last child who found reading particularly difficult. Pixie and Abby got comfortable and listened as the child started to read the story with her mum. It was evident that she was struggling with the words but she carried on and as Pixie and Abby settled down, as did she. Her reading became more fluid and she began to string more sentences together. By the end of the session she had read nearly a whole book, something which her mother said she would not normally do. The child’s mum sent the following e-mail which sums up the whole event beautifully;
“I just wanted to thank you and the rest of the team (with a special BIG thank you to Pixie and Abby) for helping to make reading a pleasurable experience for our daughter. As you know she finds reading very hard and is often put off picking up a book because it can leave her feeling dejected when she get stuck with words. Abby and Pixie were extremely good listeners and most importantly helped her to relax and not feel anxious if she found parts difficult. In fact they helped her relax so much she read the whole story, something she would not normally attempt! I know she loved meeting the dogs and reading to them, and also went home feeling a positive association between reading and books.”
It is hoped that we will be able to organise more of these events in the future and will be able to make reading more enjoyable for other children.
Lynsey Thomson Area Representative for Stirlingshire
If you are interested in finding out about arranging a visit to your school or local library from one of our volunteers and a visiting Therapet, please contact us by telephoning 0131 553 0034 or e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org giving your address and telephone number and we can then put you in touch with the nearest Area Representative to discuss this type of visit.