Story Dogs helps children get better at reading

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Y.hub community manager Natalie Carter, Story Dogs volunteer Kerry Muir and Yanchep Beach Primary School students with dogs Portia and Oscar. Picture: Anita McInnes

VOLUNTEER Kerry Muir and her dogs Portia and Oscar are regulars at Yanchep Beach Primary School where they are part of a program helping to make learning to read fun for children.

The Story Dogs program allows the children read to an accredited dog and their handler and during this time the children not only have fun they are not judged which helps their focus improve, their reading skills increase and their confidence soar.

Yanchep Beach Primary School deputy principal Jo Hoskins said the program was fun for the children and they don’t view it as being taught.

“We have had a focus on reading for the past two years and Story Dogs is great for the children who benefit from a little bit of extra attention and reading time,’’ she said.

Story Dogs coordinator Chris Line said the program was popular and there were primary schools – Yanchep Lagoon, Alkimos and East Butler – seeking dog teams.

Y.hub community manager Natalie Carter said Yhub Coworking was now sponsoring Oscar and Portia.

Story Dogs coordinator Chris Line said the sponsorship would help the not-for-profit organisation train volunteers and supply their book bags, which included about six books as well buy blankets for the dogs.

She said the program was popular and there were primary schools in the area – Yanchep Lagoon, Alkimos and East Butler – seeking dog teams.

Volunteers must have a well behaved dog and a few spare hours a week.

All breeds of dogs apart from restricted breeds can be assessed to take part in the program.

Dog teams must pass an accreditation by a certified dog trainer as well as be immaculately groomed, vaccinated and vet checked.

Contact Chris Line on 0420 429 654 or email chrisl@storydogs.org.au