The small classroom at the end of Duncanrig Secondary’s first floor corridor is not usually as busy as this on a Tuesday afternoon.
A steady stream of teachers, support staff and curious pupils pop in, on some vague pretext or other.
The real reason they are here, of course, is the cute little bundle of fluff sniffing around the squishy beanbags and cosy rugs at the back of the room.
This is Bonnie the reading dog, one of a trio of adorable pups provided by local Therapet volunteers in a pioneering initiative intended to boost reading skills in high school. Duncanrig is one of the first secondary schools in South Lanarkshire to pilot the project and, judging by the number of passers-by dropping by to fuss over the furry visitors, it is already a hit.
“Bonnie comes into the school to help children improve their reading,” explains the East Kilbride high school’s headteacher, Lyndsay McRoberts.
“Pupils who might struggle to read out loud in class in front of their peers or teachers do not have the same worries when reading out loud to Bonnie.
“Dogs are non-judgemental, they don’t correct you when you make a mistake – they just sit and listen, and that’s a huge help when it comes to building up confidence.”
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Picture above; Therapet Bonnie with two pupils from Duncanrig Secondary School
This article appeared in the Evening Times 5th November 2018.
Written by Ann Fotheringham
Picture by Evening Times photographer,
“(pictures property of Evening Times, all rights reserved, unauthorised use prohibited)
Link to full online edition at Evening Times