BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dogs in the Classroom

Josh, Brandy, Ms. Joyce (owner/handler) and Kids

The last five years I taught, my class participated in the READ Program. When I was asked if I would like to be involved, I jumped at the opportunity. Dogs in the classroom? You Betcha!

The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. But not just any dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
Today, hundreds of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout the United States and Canada. R.E.A.D. is one of those ideas that, in the words of Bill Moyers, “pierces the mundane to arrive at the marvelous.”
Intermountain Therapy Animals, a nonprofit organization, launched R.E.A.D. in 1999 as the first comprehensive literacy program built around the appealing idea of reading to dogs, and the program has been spreading rapidly and happily ever since!
READ Program)

Ms. Mary and Sassy

For many students reading out loud in class to their peers can be an overwhelming, embarrassing experience, where students dread making a mistake in front of their classmates. Reading to dogs allows students to practice their oral reading skills without the pressure of impressing their peers or teacher. Dogs don't laugh at or correct children and create a safe, non-threatening environment for reading. As a result, children gain confidence in their reading ability and improve their skills.Before they know it, they are enjoying the experience of reading instead of dreading it, they’re even looking forward to the next time. It is simple, and it works beautifully. Along with helping the students improve their reading skills, the experience helps enhance the human/dog bond, which was very important to me as a dog-loving teacher.

Ms. Shirley and Clancy, Ms. Joyce and Josh, Ms. Alice and Peppy

In addition to improving reading skills, animals in the classroom teach responsibility, develop social skills and foster empathy. I truly believe dogs (and other animals) in school create an atmosphere of warmth, intimacy and safety - in other words, an ideal learning environment.

To see more dogs doing great things in the classroom, visit Nanook and Pooka.


countryliving said...

Interesting.............. hadn't heard of this before.
Thanks for the online classroom.

Merrie. said...

I think dogs rule! They are so good to us and share their love with us in so many ways; like the fact that they will sit and listen to us like no one else, no judgment, no criticism, just love and encouragement in their eyes. I talk to all four of my doggies all day, and I feel their answers in my heart. Thanks for sharing this! Just more proof dogs are a higher life form: LOL; they are angels! Thank you for your comment about my blog music; I sure appreciate the fact that you share my love for music. Have a great day my friend; Merrie and all the fur babies

Mason Dixie said...

That is so cool of you to help the children. I have seen Nanook. I am a little to hyper to sit still that long for a book. he he. =)

Deb said...

What a fantastic school you taught at! Reading Assistance Dogs sounds like a wonderful concept and program and I agree about the human/dog bond. Love the photos :-)

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Just look how they respond to animals that are brought to show and tell. I once had a mother (who was a wildlife rehabilitator) bring a squirrel to the classroom. The children loved petting it.

Shellmo said...

What a great program! And good doggies!!

Sue said...

I have heard about this method to teach kids to feel comfortable reading aloud...What a great way to get kids to learn and to interact with the animals....and what perfect dogs to do this type of work but Goldens...they are the best.

Kellan said...

What a fabulous program - I just love it!!

Have a great weekend - Kellan

Chrissie said...

Oh Wow!! That is just wonderful and just goes to prove once again how special our four legged faithful friends are.


Anonymous said...

Great article! I have loved this ever since I first heard about it. Cami likes to be read to...provided you rub her belly, too! Our puppies are so wonderful and nonjudgmental! SH