Children reading to therapy dogs - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Children reading to therapy dogs

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

For 6-year-old Thompson Thorn, this April afternoon is a rare chance to get some hands on time with a dog.

"I have never really got to sit with a dog for a long time," Thompson said. "I always see dogs on the street and I get to pet them, but I'm glad I got to read with a dog."

Thompson, a student at Saint Stephen of Hungary, takes part in the R.E.A.D. literacy program, where service dogs come into schools to help kids learn to read.

The program hooks up specially trained therapy dogs, like Terrie the black Lab, to act as nonjudgmental listeners for young readers.

Francie Alexander, the chief academic officer at Scholastic, says they work.

"Kids have to practice to be good readers, and yet when you're practicing, if you make a mistake, it can feel risky and uncomfortable," Alexander says. "But if you're practicing with a dog, you don't mind making the mistake."

Kids like Thompson love interacting with a furry friend.

Molly Mundy owns Terrie, the therapy dog.

"They glow when they come in here and see the dog," she says. "When youngsters read to dogs their blood pressure goes down, and they get interested in the dogs and they know that they're a better reader than the dog is."

Reading to dogs helps calm young children and relieves the pressure of embarrassment when they make reading mistakes.

Florence Evans, the assistant principal at Saint Stephen of Hungary School on the Upper East Side, says the program has helped many students improve their reading skills.

"We have found that the students who participate in the program are really eager to come and read and they have developed an increased confidence (with Terry and) when they return to the classroom," Evans says.

A University of California study found that young children who read with therapy improved their reading skills by 12 percent over the course of a 10-week program in comparison to children in the same program who didn't read to dogs; they showed no improvement.

Thompson also agrees.

"Yes, it's very good, it helped me understand the story more and it helps the dog," he says.

The R.E.A.D. literacy program is in 11 New York City Public libraries and multiple New York City public schools, but they hope to expand to more. The Intermountain Therapy Animals R.E.A.D. program launched in Salt Lake City in 1999, and now 3,500 teams of specially trained read teams helping kids learn to read all over country and all over the world.

https://www.therapyanimals.org/Home.html

http://www.petpartners.org/

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices