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Learing to Read: Listening Dogs

(Thanks to Pippa for telling me about this)

Yesterday the Guardian ran a story about the R.E.A.D scheme, currently being piloted in Kent, which provides ‘listening dogs’ to school children.

Listening dogs are voluteered by their owners to become registered therapy animals. After training they visit schools and libraries where they sit with children as they read aloud.

One volunteer owner tells the Guardian,

It helps with their self-esteem in reading out loud because he is non-judgmental. He doesn’t judge them and he doesn’t laugh at them. He’s just a tool – the children don’t realise they are reading, which they might not have the confidence to do in class.

The scheme has been running for twelve years in the US, where parents and teachers report great success with the dogs. I look forward to seeing the results of the UK pilot scheme.

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