Therapy dogs helping students read - Tucson News Now

Therapy dogs helping students read

Students from Mary Meredity K-12 work on improving their literary skills by reading to dogs. (Source: KOLD News 13) Students from Mary Meredity K-12 work on improving their literary skills by reading to dogs. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It may sound a bit unusual, but dogs can help your children read.

Pet Therapy organization, Gabriel’s Angels, is expanding after years of visiting schools across Tucson.

Angel Charity for Children awarded Gabriel’s Angels a grant for $35,000 to help 100 children with their new Animal Books and Children Program.

For some kids, it can be extremely hard to read aloud because they're not comfortable. But thanks to the dogs, that’s all changing.

Sixth grader at Mary Meredith K-12, Kenyonn Daniels, is just one of the students who increased his reading scores due to the program.

”I didn’t like to read because I didn’t know how people would make fun of me,” he said. “But I like to read with the dogs because it feels more comfortable because they listen to you.”

Other students at the school said they feel the same way.

“I have six dogs and none of them will sit down for me to read. So it is pretty nice to have a dog that will sit down and listen and let me read a book to them and chill,” said Gabriel Valenzuela, a junior.

Jackie Theodorakis, director of Gabriel’s Angels of Southern Arizona, said a dog is the perfect listener for kids who want to practice their reading aloud. She said students don’t feel embarrassed if they mess up and the dogs are not judging them or correcting them.Gabriel’s Angels is a non-profit and is always looking for donations. To learn more click HERE.

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