Canine Concern was founded over 30 years ago by Eve Waring to teach Children how care and behave around dogs. Canine Concern’s “Read to Dogs” programme has been developed to break down barriers where children find it difficult to read or to improve their reading.
With the help of their dogs and volunteer owner teams, children are able to relax in the comfort of being with the dogs and this helps them to become more confident readers who are then able to participate more in school. Volunteers and teachers see amazing results and both dog and human volunteers are carefully assessed prior to becoming a Read to Dogs partner.
Our read to dog’s programme commenced some 10 years ago, which has been more developed over the last 2 years.
We are finding we are getting more schools contacting us requesting a canine visit, as they hear about the benefits. Our members are finding it is good for many of our dogs to have variety in their work, so visit the elderly and sick as well as schools. So, our read to dogs’ scheme is growing all the time, with many of our new members requesting school visits.
We are hearing some lovely stories from our volunteers about the improvements to the reading and the comments from the teaching staff. We also hear about the children seeing the dogs outside the school grounds and explaining to their parents about the fantastic dogs.
The programme also works to safely break down barriers in cases where children are frightened of dogs by teaching canine body language and how to spot signs of discomfort from a dog. With the help of their teacher or qualified therapist, the programme has even assisted children overcome severe dog phobia. Participating schools can attest to the success of the programme, not just in terms of monitored improvements in reading but in the enthusiasm of the children asking when the dog and volunteer will next visit.
We are supported with our work by the Kennel Club “Bark & Read” Programme.