Reading to dogs helping kids

Published date29 September 2022
Publication titleCentral Otago News
Three afternoons a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3.30pm to 5pm — the Wanaka library hosts the reading to dogs programme

Wanaka St John Therapy Pet team leader Janine Taylor was instrumental in bringing the Reading Education Assist Dogs (Read) programme into the area.

“I moved from the North Island to down here. I was involved with it up there, and didn’t realise it was not running down here,” Mrs Taylor said.

The idea behind the programme was to help children read in a non-judgemental, relaxed and welcoming environment, she said.

Wanaka St John Therapy Pet volunteer Lesley Jones said another benefit was children being exposed to dogs.

“Not everyone has a dog, so they get some confidence with being around animals.’’

Her 8-year-old dog, Baxter...

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