Jessie the labrador found the pawfect way to relax at Oak Flats library this week when she enjoyed tales as part of a new initiative to encourage children to read.
The Paws ‘n Tales program uses trained pets as therapy dogs to help children relax and feel empowered to take control of their learning. Aimed at four to eight-year-olds, the program is coordinated by not for profit group Paws Pet Therapy. Paws ‘n Tales coordinator Lisa McKay said Shellharbour council had embraced the free initiative which was already operating in the Shoalhaven, Goulburn and Bowral.
“The idea is that dogs are very calming and tend to relax the children,” Ms McKay said. “Dogs are also motivational, so kids practice reading and are happy to come back next week. Volunteer can use the dog’s paw to prompt reading or get the kids to re-tell the story to the dog or the children might just lay all over them. It’s a lovely concept and the response has been great.” Sessions are at 4pm, Monday and Wednesday. To book or volunteer with your dog visit: www.pawspettherapy.com.
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