Story time with a difference
A MOVING innovation which has made its way into a Dalby school aims to progress the reading confidence and competence of children.
Story Dogs, which was founded in Murwillumbah in 2009 by Leah Sheldon and Janine Sigley, has since gone national.
A volunteer brings in their beloved canine to school so children who struggle with reading can simply read to the dog, away from the class, without judgement or pressure.
Now in a regional Queensland first, Story Dogs has begun work with Our Lady of the Southern Cross college Year 2 students.
Lyn Clancy and her black labrador, Sammy, are the dynamic duo which has taken on the task of helping to raise literacy levels of our children.
“I have a friend who has done it for eight years and was fascinated by it,” Ms Clancy said.
“She rang me about it and said why don’t you set something up in the country.
“I was working at the time so it was hard to find time... but now I can do it.
“When I was given the opportunity, I couldn’t say no.”
Ms Clancy’s passion of reading was the spark behind her joining the group, and she knew Sammy would be the perfect ear for children.
“I love to read and I feel for kids who haven’t got a love for it. I hope they get to love reading and want to read.
“Sammy is such a beautiful dog, the kids adore him and he just sits there and laps it up.”
JJ Greenaway is one student who reads to Sammy every week and has relished the opportunity.
“My reading has gotten better and it’s a lot more fun to read to Sammy than read in the classrooom,” JJ said.
Classmate Quinten Chard, also one of Sammy’s reading partners, reiterated the sentiments.
“I just love everything about it,” Quinten said.
Ms Clancy hopes Sammy’s story is the catalyst for many more people to get involved in the program.
“I hope more people do get involved because they (regional schools) really need it,” Ms Clancy said.
“I would like to see other people step up and find out about Story Dogs and what we do... but it’s essential the dog is good natured.
“It’s just so important that kids learn to love to read.”
❝ — JJ Greenaway
BEST MATES: Jake Griffiths and JJ Greenaway, from OLSCC, with Story Dog Sammy.