Monday, April 27, 2009

Read with Dog

Here is a picture of Grant reading.  And that furry creature on the floor in front of him?  That is Bryce.  Bryce is a therapy dog trained through Intermountain Therapy Animals of Salt Lake to help kids improve their reading.  When Grant shows up, Bryce wags his tail and shakes his hand.  Then, as Grant begins to read to him, Bryce quietly settles on the floor at Grant's feet and listens patiently.  At the end of the book, Bryce will get up and shake Grant's hand.  

The theory behind "Read with a Dog" is that sometimes kids (mostly nervous boys who would rather play than read) would find motivation in entertaining a dog.  It seemed to work.  Grant practiced all week so he could flawlessly recite his stories to Bryce.  And Bryce, in turn, practiced sleeping on the floor all week so he could be a good audience for Grant.  My only request is that next month they have a child to read to Bonnie the Beagle.  The poor thing sat on her sad little blanket across from Bryce with no child to entertain her and whimpered each time Grant turned his page.  No one, not even a dog, should be left out of story hour.