Hap­pi­est of birth­days to Story Dogs group

Dalby Herald - - NEWS / OPINION - Me­gan Masters me­gan.masters@thechron­i­cle.com.au

READ­ING has al­ways been one of my great­est pas­sions, so any­thing that en­cour­ages young peo­ple to share my pas­sion catches my in­ter­est.

When I heard about Story Dogs, an or­gan­i­sa­tion putting dogs into schools to help chil­dren with their read­ing skills, I was amazed.

While I was blessed with find­ing read­ing easy and al­ways had con­fi­dence to read out loud, I can ab­so­lutely ap­pre­ci­ate that it’s not a skill that comes nat­u­rally to everyone.

I cer­tainly wasn’t good at ev­ery sub­ject in school, so I do clearly re­call the vague feel­ing of ter­ror when a teacher calls on you to do some­thing in front of the class you’re not en­tirely com­fort­able with.

As soon as I heard about Story Dogs I could imag­ine how much eas­ier it would be for a child try­ing to build their con­fi­dence to have a com­pletely non-judge­men­tal au­di­ence that doesn’t cor­rect them or break their read­ing flow.

Even the act of run­ning fingers through a dog’s fur as you get en­grossed in a story would keep emo­tions calm and pre­vent the fear cen­tres in the brain from ac­ti­vat­ing and prevent­ing learn­ing.

We’re so for­tu­nate to have Story Dogs in Dalby now.

Happy ninth birth­day, Story Dogs.

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