We are super excited to announce that Teach Starter has sponsored a Story Dog team! A little while ago we wrote about the fantastic program that is Story Dogs. A not-for-profit organisation, Story Dogs bring trained teams of dogs and volunteer handlers into schools to help reluctant readers.
Story Dog volunteers (and their dogs!) spend approximately 2 hours a week, on the same day every week, for four full school terms, running their program with a small group of students. With the premise of “reading to the dog”, kids who struggle with reading for one reason or another, spend 20 minutes of one-on-one time, reading aloud to their Story Dog.
The benefits of involving animals in student learning are backed by a body of research in the United States. However, you only have to have a quick read through some of the Story Dogs success stories to be convinced of the program’s validity.
It costs around $500 a year to keep a single Story Dog team working in their local school. This includes running Dog Team Assessments, full training days for new volunteers, as well as in-school training where new volunteers observe more experienced teams in action.
“At Story Dogs we believe that volunteering should be cost neutral. We feel that volunteers give so much of their time that it should not cost them any money to be involved.” – Story Dogs
It wasn’t hard to know this was a cause that the Teach Starter founders, Jill and Scott, would be happy to support! A big part of the Teach Starter vision is making an impact. The work we do here every day is with the purpose of helping make every classroom buzz. Story Dogs is an amazing embodiment of this vision and we are so excited to have sponsored a team.
To find out more about the Story Dogs program, check out the following links!
- Teach Starter feature article: “Story Dogs: Helping Reluctant Readers”
- Find out more about the program for reluctant readers in your school
- Find out how to volunteer
- Donate or sponsor a Story Dog team