Our Reading Dog

24th September 2019

St Stephens Community Academy is excited to offer pupils an opportunity to participate in a special reading program. This program gives pupils the opportunity to interact with a trained registered therapy dog while at school, to help improve their reading skills by interacting and reading to the therapy dog. ‘Stanley’ is a gentle black Labrador, who will be coming into school on a Tuesday morning. He is well cared for and responsibly owned and trained as a ‘Pets for Therapy’ dog. Stanley has had extensive training in working with young children and is socially confident with children and adults, including groups. He is confident in a range of different environments, not sensitive to and does not react to sudden noise or movement and is extremely calm and relaxed.                                                                                          

School dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years and this is due to the fact that dogs can offer children so many things. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills, through contact with a suitable, calm dog. By having a Reading Dog, we want to encourage those children who are less confident with reading to have a friendly audience and to look forward to reading! We are sure that this opportunity will bring a lot of joy to the children and it will develop their sense of responsibility, empathy skills and general enjoyment of school. Stanley’s handler and a member of school staff will supervise the experience.