Local children are learning to read thanks to a little help from man’s best friend and a unique program at Redland City Council’s Victoria Point Library.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Story Dogs program helped children become confident readers by reading to some talented and friendly four-legged friends.
“Story Dogs is a great initiative that uses pets to teach children the joy of reading,” Cr Williams said.
“Results show that while the program helps students greatly improve their reading, teachers also notice an overall increase in concentration and learning among the children who participate.
“It’s a free service to schools and students, and thus reliant on not only its volunteer teams, but the generous support from sponsors and donations.”
Cr Williams said the Story Dogs volunteers were always in high demand.
“The Story Dogs team is working with about 100 children a week in schools across the Redlands Coast, Wynnum and Manly, and they would love to double their local team of volunteers,” she said.
“A number of Redlands Coast Story Dogs teams are currently seeking sponsorship, including Jeanne and her Cavoodle Lottie, who help children at Victoria Point Library, so please help by sponsoring the program.”
Story Dogs Redlands team leader Amanda Farrell said team sponsorship cost $550 and offered a range of benefits.
“Funding will provide professional assessment and accreditation of a dog team and handler, training, vet health checks, insurance and books for the children to read,” Mrs Farrell said.
“Our supporters often comment that Story Dogs sponsorship is one of the best things they have ever done.
“What makes this program unique is that students are reading to the dog, and the loving nature of the dog means the children are never judged or criticised, so their confidence increases and their reading improves.
“The program aims to make reading fun, and to encourage children to become confident, lifelong readers.”
The dogs must pass an accreditation test. For information on how to register your dog or to find out more about sponsoring the program visit storydogs.org.au