Story Dogs program helping children improve literacy skills at Victoria Point Library

CHILDREN are improving their literacy skills by reading to man's best friend at Victoria Point Library.

CLEVER POOCHES: Mayor Karen Williams, Story Dogs volunteer Jeanne Bonney with her Cavoodle Lottie, and sisters Abigail and Taylor at Victoria Point Library.

CLEVER POOCHES: Mayor Karen Williams, Story Dogs volunteer Jeanne Bonney with her Cavoodle Lottie, and sisters Abigail and Taylor at Victoria Point Library.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Story Dogs program, which operates in different locations across the country, helped children become confident readers.

"Story Dogs is a great initiative that uses pets to teach children the joy of reading," she said.

"Results show that while the program helps students greatly improve their reading, teachers also notice an overall increase in concentration and learning among the children who participate.

"It's a free service to schools and students, and thus reliant on not only its volunteer teams, but the generous support from sponsors and donations."

Cr Williams said Story Dogs volunteers were always in high demand.

She said the team worked with about 100 children a week in schools across Redlands, Wynnum and Manly.

"A number of Redlands Coast Story Dogs teams are currently seeking sponsorship, including Jeanne and her Cavoodle Lottie, who help children at Victoria Point Library, so please help by sponsoring the program," She said.

Story Dogs Redlands team leader Amanda Farrell said team sponsorship cost $550 and offered a range of benefits.

"Funding will provide professional assessment and accreditation of a dog team and handler, training, vet health checks, insurance and books for the children to read," she said.

"Our supporters often comment that Story Dogs sponsorship is one of the best things they have ever done."

Mrs Farrell said the program aimed to make reading fun and encourage children to become confident. lifelong readers.

"What makes this program unique is that students are reading to the dog, and the loving nature of the dog means the children are never judged or criticised, so their confidence increases and their reading improves," she said.

Dogs must pass an accreditation test before joining the program.

For information on how to register your dog or to find out more about sponsoring the program, visit storydogs.org.au.

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