Issue date: January 24th 2020
Pictured: Springfield Academy pupils are taking part in a reading dog scheme. They are pictured with Buttons.
Reading dog scheme helps Springfield Academy pupils
Pupils at Springfield Academy are being inspired to develop their literacy skills by reading to a canine companion.
The school, on Lawton Drive in Bulwell, has joined a national reading initiative called Paws and Read run by the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide.
The free scheme is aimed at children who are reluctant readers and who need encouragement with communication and literacy skills.
Once a week a small group of pupils pair up and read to a dog called Buttons, accompanied by a trained volunteer from the charity.
JB Francis, Headteacher, Springfield Academy, said: “Reading to a dog is very relaxing for children, particularly those who struggle with speaking aloud to others.”
She explained: “Having a reading dog in school is helping to develop our pupils’ literacy skills and building their confidence and self esteem.”
Buttons, a cockapoo, currently attends Springfield Academy for a one-hour reading session on Fridays, which is attended by a small group of pupils.
Ruth Boyes BEM, Trustee, Therapy Dogs Nationwide, said: “Research suggests children can be nervous and uncomfortable about reading in a classroom environment, especially those who are struggling for various reasons.”
She explained: “Many teachers, parents and guardians have told Therapy Dogs Nationwide that as well as improving their skills, the children in the scheme have grown in self-confidence by reading to these calm, non-judgmental attentive dogs who are perfect listeners showing their unconditional love to the children and young people.”
For more information about Springfield Academy, sponsored by Djanogly Learning Trust, visit http://www.springfieldacademy.co.uk/
About Djanogly Learning Trust
Mary Hampshire, Public Relations Consultant
Djanogly Learning Trust
Telephone: 07985 779078