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Ohio Teacher Helps Children Read by Reading to Dogs

Let's hope this catches on! How many more dogs would find good homes if the parents realized just how helpful dogs could be to their...

Joy  |  Dec 29th 2006


Let’s hope this catches on! How many more dogs would find good homes if the parents realized just how helpful dogs could be to their children!

Thanks to the Zanesville Times Recorder for this article!

Dogs in classrooms could help improve literacy
Teacher considers bringing growing trend into Coshocton City Schools
By VALERIE GRACE
Coshocton Tribune

COSHOCTON – A local teacher hopes a growing trend will reach Coshocton City Schools. The trend is bringing dogs into classrooms to help children read.

“One drawback for kids and reading around adults is they get nervous,” Cindy Fry said. “Dogs, they tend to relax the kids.”

In October, Fry made a trip to New Richmond Schools in Cincinnati to learn about their program. In five years, the district noticed improved reading scores thanks to the K-9 friends, Fry said.

“It’s amazing to watch the kids come in. They don’t care about the adult, they care about the dogs,” Fry said.
Dogs tend to make children relax more when it comes to reading. Fry, who would like to implement the program next year when her English Setter matures, presented her ideas at the December Board of Education meeting.

What Coshocton needs to get a similar program under way, Fry said, is to get volunteers to bring in dogs who are temperament and obedience tested. Schools would send home parental consent forms for classes that would be working with the dogs and teachers would choose which children would take a turn in the 15 minute activity. Dogs would work for an hour a day which could benefit up to 20 kids a day depending on the number of volunteers.

“It needs to start in elementary school because that’s where we’re losing kids,” Fry said.