Digger the Reading Dog
Digger has joined our school as a trained Reading Dog. Mrs Griffin, our Learning Mentor brings Digger into school weekly to hear children read. They enjoy reading with Digger who responds attentively.
There is well-documented research that shows children who have the opportunity to read to dogs (and no doubt other animals) have a higher desire to read and write, and increased interpersonal skills. This contact between dog and child encourages interaction which helps put the child at ease. Children who have experienced reading to a dog show significant improvement in not just reading skills but also their self-esteem.
Digger is a non-judgemental listener who can offer comfort to the child who might find reading difficult.
Comments children say after having read to Digger:
“Digger is amazing to read to, she doesn’t make you feel silly when you make a mistake.”
“Digger makes me feel relaxed.”
“She has made a difference in our school – she’s a famous face and she has a gorgeous personality.”
“She makes us laugh at some point by doing a wrong trick or just generally by being silly.”
“It’s different to reading to an adult, Digger doesn’t mind if you make mistakes. You can even try out silly voices for different characters.”
“The atmosphere when Digger is around is very relaxed.”
Digger also teaches children how to be safe around dogs and how to respect pets and animals. She has become a valuable member of our school community.