Story Dogs big hit at Greenfields school

Poppy the Story Dog with handler Lynn Roy and student Obama.
Poppy the Story Dog with handler Lynn Roy and student Obama.

TWO furry, four-legged friends are proving to be big hits among the young students at a Greenfields school.

Poppy are Millie are among dozens of dogs who regularly visit WA schools as part of the popular Story Dogs program, with the pair giving Foundation Christian College students an opportunity to gain confidence in their literacy abilities by reading aloud to them one-on-one.

Foundation Christian College head of primary Sharon Mitchell said the program was now in its third year at the school.

“Story Dog handlers are volunteers trained to teach emergent readers,” she said.

“This is a crucial time in a child’s development where they are expanding their vocabulary, reading to learn new information and aiming for fluency.

“Reading to an audience helps students learn how to use language to make sense of the world, improves their information processing skills, vocabulary and comprehension and we have extended the program to include students across our whole college.”

Story Dog handler Lynn Roy said she enjoyed visiting the school and watching Poppy nurture a love of reading among the students.

“Poppy has so much love to share and the children love her, so why not share her with them,” she said.

“I also enjoy spending time with the children, watching them snuggle up to Poppy and read confidently to her.”

The school will be hosting a Story Dogs Day fundraiser on August 22 where staff and students are encouraged to dress in orange to support the program.

Visit www.storydogs.org.au for more information on the program or to apply to be a volunteer.