Janine Sigley with one of her specially trained story dogs.
Janine Sigley with one of her specially trained story dogs. John Gass

Reading dogs a winner

MURWILLUMBAH’S Janine Sigley, who helped set up the Story Dogs program, which uses trained “listening dogs” to help children read, is the 2011 Woman of the Year for the electorate of Lismore.

Mrs Sigley, a full-time working mother, was named the winner of the award by Lismore MP Thomas George, whose electorate covers Murwillumbah and most rural areas of the Tweed.

Mrs Sigley is the co-founder of Story Dogs, which works with children in Year 2 to improve literacy skills through special reading sessions with trained dogs.

“I knew I had been nominated, but it was still definitely a surprise,” Mrs Sigley said yesterday.

Mr George described Janine’s win as “an extraordinary achievement for an extraordinary woman”.

“Janine is a most worthy recipient of this award,” Mr George said.

“Not only is she a full-time working mother but, along with her friend and Story Dogs co-founder Leah Sheldon, she delivers this valuable and charitable program to 13 schools and 100-plus students each week.

“By reading to a non-judgemental hound, the program increases the children’s confidence and inspires in them a lifelong love for reading.”

Mr George said three other Murwillumbah women and a total of 14 women from the electorate had been nominated for the award.

 

Other nominees for this year’s awards included:

Colleen Scofield (Urbenville), Marjorie Norris (Murwillumbah), Jennifer Press (Murwillumbah), Jan Clifford (Goonellabah), Fay Seiffert (Lismore Heights), Janice Davis (Lismore Heights), Christine Smith (Goolmangar), Raema Denise Perkins (Kyogle), Kerry Turner (Murwillumbah), Ann Spillane (Lismore Heights), Sue Lloyd (Goonellabah), Delma Gillespie (Goonellabah) and Pat Anderson (Kyogle).



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