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Therapy dog unleashes elementary students' reading skills

November 4, 2014

Students and Prince posing with Jane Sorensen, Deborah Kaplan and Ms. Hobby. Reading buddies can come in all different forms, including furry ones with four legs.

That's the type that visited George Cooke Elementary students on Friday, Oct. 24 to help build their confidence when reading.

Deborah Kaplan, Monticello Kiwanis Club 2nd President, brought Prince, her therapy and service dog, to the school so students from Ms. Jean Marie Brenner and Ms. Megan Hobby’s class could read to him.

“Therapy dogs, like Prince, are trained to provide affection and comfort. Children can build their self-confidence while reading to a therapy dog because they are non-judgmental and loving,” she said.

Prince’s visit was organized by EPIC Coordinator and Kiwanis Club President Jane Sorensen as a way to get children excited about reading.

Sorensen said reading to a dog is a lot different than reading in a traditional classroom.

“Reading to dogs gives children a chance to work on their reading without worrying about being perfect,” she said. “A dog will not laugh if a child struggles on a word.”

Ms. Brenner and Ms. Hobby’s classroom enjoyed Prince’s visit and selected books to read to him before his arrival.

“The kids were excited to have a reading session with a puppy nestled in their laps,” said Mrs. Kaplan. “They’re anxious for another visit.”

Prince will visit other Elementary classrooms in the near future to support their fluency, Mrs. Sorenson said.


Click here for photos from Prince's visit on Nov. 12