Bella The Reading Dog
Every week we receive a visit from Bella and her owner, Margaret. Pupils are invited to read with Margaret and Bella. The idea of reading to dogs is based on some fantastic principles:
- Reading to dogs gives children essential extra practice with reading and oral skills.
- Some children feel that reading becomes less difficult when reading to a dog and are more willing to read aloud at school.
- Reading to dogs has motivated some children to start reading more at home, especially to their pets
- Children feel comfortable reading to dogs because dogs don't judge if a word is mispronounced.
- The process of petting dogs can help with motor skills and is also known to be a calming factor that can reduce stress, blood pressure, and anxiety.
- Some children feel nervous when reading aloud and reading with a dog immediately calms them down.
- A child can feel like a leader by turning the book toward the dog, reading aloud, and pretending (s)he is the teacher.
- If a child has experienced a recent loss of a family member or pet, reading to a dog can help bring them comfort.