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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stella the Therapy Dog!

Hello! I would like to introduce to you South Hills Elementary's newest Wildcat, or should I say Wild dog? Stella!

She'll be part of the Tail Waggin' Tutors. She'll be visiting students in the library while they read to her. The main objective of this program is to provide a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere, which allows students to practice the skill of reading. Many of the children are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other classmates.

By sitting down next to a dog and reading to the dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on the reading. Reading improves because the child is practicing the skill of reading, building self-esteem, and associating reading with something pleasant.

We have worked very hard to get her ready for this. She's been through many obedience classes and has passed her Good Canine Citizenship test and her Therapy test. She's certified as a therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International.

In addition to working at South Hills, she also visit's her friends at Sterling House Assisted living twice a month and will soon be working with Seasons Hospice. I'm very excited to have her working with us, I think she'll fit right in.

For more information on Tail Wagging Tutors click on the links below.

http://www.tdi-dog.org/OurPrograms.aspx?Page=Children+Reading+to+Dogs

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/study-dogs-children-learn-read/story?id=11428770#.TuVuF-b3HVQ