|Bandit seems interested in Dominic's book.|
“The dogs have a calming affect on the kids,” Thomas said. “They pet them and talk to them. There’s no correcting or ‘That’s not how you say it.’
Each child, in grades on to seven, picked a book from the library or brought one from home. The three therapy dogs arrived with their volunteer handlers, and each child could read to the dogs for 10 minutes.
When the program started, librarian Princess Thomas said she was hesitant to bring the dogs into the library. “At that time, everything in here was new. “The carpets, the room, and we thought, ‘What will happen with dogs coming in here?’ But the dogs came with volunteers and it worked out great.”
|Alexandra reads to Zeke.|
The teachers to whom I've talked were committed to the programs and many saw immediate results. One teacher told me the kids visibly relaxed when the non-judgemental dogs were "listening."
This very well may be a cautionary tale (no pun intended) concerning stresses put on children to perform at reading aloud. Something to think about, I have no doubt.