RISE Educational Resource Center provides a place for children who are home schooled to come together for a broad range of classes and experiences. One of the favorite activities is Reading with the Love Dogs.
Each week several Love Dogs gather to read stories with children of all ages. Some like to spend time one-on-one with a special dog and some children circle around a dog and all read together.
This week we had three Love Dogs and the kids loved learning about Bailey the Golden, Cricket the Poodle and Benny the Woodle (we think he is a Poodle/Wheaten mix!)
Some of the children have special issues so being in a room with a lot of noise and stimulus can be a challenge. But the dogs seem to calm everyone down and today we had many children all close together all enjoying the activity.
Our friend Julian came and he was so happy to see his friends Benny and Bailey. Julian sat in a circle with other children and his mom read stories to them and Julian enjoyed petting Benny.
Julian’s brother was also with us and he just loved meeting Cricket.
Then Dash the Italian Greyhound arrived. Julian had seen pictures of Dash and recognized him right away. He was not afraid to meet him and put his hand out for sniffing and greeting.
Overall every child who attended got something out of the hour – whether it was to improve their literacy skills, or to be gentle with a dog, or to be in a room full of other children and dogs and noise and remain calm and focused.
While we may consider this a “reading program,” so much more goes on … socialization, community, language skills, friendship and a sense of belonging.