Liz Kelleher is part of the Tweed’s Story Dogs progam helping primary school students to read.
Liz Kelleher is part of the Tweed’s Story Dogs progam helping primary school students to read. John Gass

Story Dog volunteers required

VOLUNTEERS are needed for the popular Story Dogs program with it operating in 10 Tweed Shire primary schools.

Program founder and coastal coordinator Janine Sigley said the concept of reading to a dog allowed children to relax, try harder and have fun reading.

“At the beginning of 2010 we were operating in one school, and by the end of 2010 we had 24 accredited dog teams and were working in 10 schools throughout the Tweed Shire,” Ms Sigley said.

The reading support program, founded on the Tweed in 2009, allows students to read to the dog and handler, thus getting focused attention.

“The children who come to Story Dogs are generally from Year 2 and are children who are struggling with reading and may have additional concerns such as low self-esteem, hearing problems and other special needs,” Ms Sigley said.

“A major advantage of this type of reading support program is the students enjoy coming out of their class and feel special.

“They get to sit in a quiet area of the school and then read to a friendly dog.”

Ms Sigley said any primary school could request to be a part of the program, and as much as possible they ask for volunteers from the school community.

Story Dogs will have three intakes of new volunteers this year, the next training day is next month.

Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring a dog team can call Leah Sheldon on (02) 6672 1223 or Ms Sigley on (02) 6672 7661.



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