10 Mandurah schools now taking part in Story Dogs program


Story dogs, volunteer owners and friends enjoy a school holiday picnic on the foreshore.
Story dogs, volunteer owners and friends enjoy a school holiday picnic on the foreshore.

LEARNING can be more fun with a dog, as more Mandurah schools are finding out.

Ten Mandurah schools have now introduced the Story Dogs program, helping children who have trouble reading.

Story Dogs, which covers 345 schools through Australia, helps more than 1600 children in six states, including WA and the ACT.

Fourteen Story Dog owners now visit 10 Mandurah schools and Lakelands library.

The program involves one child sitting with a dog and its owner, away from other children and reading stories to the dog.

Story Dog Mandurah co-ordinator Amanda Milroy said when children read to a dog, the outcomes were amazing.

“The accepting, loving nature of dogs gives this program the magic that helps children open up, try harder and have fun, while reading to a dog,’’ she said.

All Working Dog volunteers have Working with Children checks and story dog training.

All dogs are temperament assessed by an accredited dog trainer to ensure they are well-behaved and can sit quietly while a child reads.

Volunteers and their dogs visit the same allocated school once a week, same day, same time, for about two hour blocks of one to one reading with up to six children per session, involving about 80 Mandurah children.

At the end of each school term, Mrs Milroy organises a picnic morning tea for volunteers at a dog friendly venue.

More information at www.storydogs.org.au or Mrs Milroy on 0417 993 497.

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