Kids love reading to dogs.

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February 5, 2010 - 6:00pm

Here are some quotes from other Nebraska teachers and librarians about reading to dogs programs:

Laura Renker of Crete Public Libraries:

One mother told us she couldn't get her daughter to read out loud - that's why she signed her up for the program. Her daughter really enjoyed it! One little guy's mom signed him up to try to get him to enjoy reading more. She said he couldn't wait to come read to the dog. There is just something comforting about reading to the dog. They don't feel that pressure that occurs when they read to adults. Susie Mahoney from Randolph School in Lincoln As the counselor at Randolph, I have had a certified Therapy Dog here at school full time for 8 years. For the past 7 years, our teachers have referred students who need a boost in fluency or confidence in reading aloud. I serve about 10 students each semester. These students meet our therapy dog Sophie and I in my room. They bring books on their reading level and read aloud to Sophie for 15-20 minutes once each week. We have reached over 100 students with this program. Reluctant readers gain confidence and there isn't a student in the whole school would not love reading to Sophie. At the end of the semester, each reader receives a certificate with a picture of them and Sophie, along with a "paw-tographed" book on their reading level to keep as their own. There are similar programs in Fremont and Gering. Pam Cassel at Adams School (Lincoln Public Schools) has an approach for teaching using a reading dog The students LOVE to read to the dog. Lily is non-judgemental and often lays her head right on the page of the book while students read to her and stroke her fur. Chris might say to the student...."Lily didn't understand that word you just read....would you look at that word again and make sure it makes sense in the sentence." Most time the students are happy to do it - for Lily. ( : Once the students are done reading, they get to ask Lily to do a trick such as roll over, or shake hands. Then, they reward her with a treat. The students also receive a special ink-stamp paw-print on the back of their hand at the end of the reading session. Lily & Chris also give out "baseball" cards with Lily's picture on the front to their Adams readers.

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