Reading with Blu

Each Thursday, we have the pleasure of Blu visiting our class where the children are able to read to him. The children (and Blu) thoroughly enjoy reading and caring for Blu each week. See below for the wealth of benefits of having a Blu in our school.

Studies have found reading to dogs offer children the following benefits:

Reading Benefits

  • Studies show that reading fluency has increased between 12-30% in children after participating in reading dogs programmes

  • Gives children extra practice with reading and oral skills

  • Some children feel reading becomes less difficult and become more confident reading aloud

  • Reading to dogs has motivated children to read more at home, especially to their pets

  • Children want to try and read more difficult books as they go through the programme

  • Children feel more confident when answering reading related questions

Emotional Benefits

  • Children enjoy the programme and think it’s fun.  They look forward to coming to the library because they feel the dog is waiting for them.

  • Children feel comfortable reading to dogs because dogs don’t judge them if they mispronounce a word.

  • Petting dogs can help with motor skills and is known to be a calming factor as it can reduce stress, blood pressure and anxiety

  • Children often feel safe when sitting with a dog from the programme

  • Reading to dogs can boost the confidence of struggling readers and gives them an increased sense of pride

  • A child can feel like a leader by reading aloud and pretending (s)he is the teacher

Social Benefits

  • Children learn to take turns while waiting to read to the dog

  • Children can learn kindness and empathy by petting and interacting with the dog

  • Communication skills can be improved by practicing reading aloud

  • Participants enjoy communicating with each other and talking about the session, the dog and the book they read