Our BARCC teams have had a very busy summer. We started out by presenting our Dog Safety Programs in local grade schools. After that, the R.E.A.D. teams listened to students read to them in the Dodgeland and Mayville Summer School sessions. The emphasis on reading during the summer prepares the students (grades 1-3) for the fall semester reading challenges. Because the summer school is open to both public and parochial students, it’s an opportunity for some of the students to read to the dogs even though their schools don’t have a R.E.A.D. program during the school year.
During April and May, our teams are scheduled to present our Dog Safety Programs in the elementary schools. This spring, we are visiting schools in Beaver Dam, Mayville, Theresa and Merton. Here is a photo from our visit this past week to Richmond School, where Marge runs a R.E.A.D. program. We gave our program to 2 Kindergarten classes and each child was able to meet Oreo and Libby to practice how to approach a dog. Fun!
In June, our teams will begin volunteering at local summer school locations. The children who participate will read to our dogs once or twice a week during the 4-5 week session. The schools are always delighted to see the therapy dogs come in the door because we bring the love of reading to the children. The 15 minutes the children spend with the dogs enhances their reading education during the summer so that they have a positive reading experience over the long summer break.
Happy April, everyone! With the completion of most of our R.E.A.D. programs for the semester, this month kicks off the Dog Safety season for B.A.R.C.C. Therapy Teams. Education about how to behave around animals is one of the purposes of our therapy group. The grade schools willingly allow us to give short programs to introduce our therapy dogs to each child. Following a short video or demonstration, each child is invited to “practice” how to approach a dog and interact with it. Since there is such a demand for this service, our schedule of safety sessions will probably extend into the month of May.
Check out this link for a great article on R.E.A.D. dogs. http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/dogs-add-layer-of-fun-to-reading-at-the-library/article_0ca8b06b-0f48-5dc7-a91a-8bf5789f4b0c.html
One male student hugged BaileyRose several times cause he missed his dogs (4) so much. At another time, (same student) out of no where, he said, “this sure is great therapy all right”. Another female student cried as she was petting BaileyRose cause she was missing her dog so much. I had asked several students if they felt having therapy dogs there actually helped them,—it was an over whelming YES! Also, ALL the students were so polite and caring around the dogs. We love going to Carroll University.
Four BARCC teams had a wonderful time today on the campus of UW – Washington County in West Bend. We spent 2 hours over the lunch hour with the students, giving them much appreciated distractions from their studies. We know that petting a dog works wonders in reducing stress (and even blood pressure)! The teams loved it – especially the loving attention given by the kind and polite students who stopped by.
In the hallway at Parkview Learning Center, you will find this wonderful display of the dogs that work in the R.E.A.D. program at the school.
Every Monday afternoon, three of these dogs spend an hour at the school listening to children read to them. It’s a lot of fun for the children and the dogs!