Children’s Authors Join Forces With Dogs To Boost Child Literacy
We all love our four legged friends and the latest news that dogs are changing the face of education in a bid to boost literacy comes as popular children’s authors, Anna Wilson, Andrew Cope and Viviane Schwarz have pledged their support for children reading to dogs in a bid to boost literacy and improve children’s self-confidence.
The authors have pledged their support to the Kennel Club’s Bark and Read Foundation to coincide with National Storytelling Week, taking place this week.
Organised by the Society for Storytelling, National Storytelling Week (Saturday February 1st – Saturday February 8th 2014) aims to promote storytelling in schools, libraries, museums and art galleries across the UK. As part of the awareness week, the Kennel Club has asked schools taking part in its popular Bark and Read scheme to let children choose their favourite book to read to their canine reading partner.
Anna, author of books including The Smug Pug and Pup Idol, will be visiting Vallis First School in Frome, Somerset, on Thursday 6th February to observe the children reading her latest book, Monkey Madness to their reading dog. Anna commented: “Reading aloud and storytelling have always been very important to me. As an author, I go into schools and see how reading stories aloud can help build confidence and improve literacy skills. Reading to dogs is a fantastic, innovative idea – it will help boost the confidence of children who are nervous of reading aloud in front of a class, for example, and will encourage a lifelong love of books and reading, I’m sure. I frequently read to my own dog when I am trying out new passages of writing, so I can highly recommend it!”
The Bark and Read Foundation is funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and supports organisations that take dogs into schools and libraries for children to read to. The scheme has been running for two years and has seen fantastic results, as teachers have reported an increase in confidence, reading levels and interest in reading.
As well as Anna, children’s authors Andrew Cope and Viviane Schwarz have also pledged support for reading to dogs.
Viviane commented on her own experience: “I know from my own experience how hard it can be to read to other people, and I am grateful to the kind animals who happily listened to me with rapt attention while I practised and learned at home. When I was in school, I could not read without a stammer, and it was a frightening ordeal that got worse every time. I hope Bark and Read will help many children to have a better learning experience, especially those who don’t have a pet of their own to help them out.”
Andrew commented: “I’m a great believer in reading aloud and, as the author of Spy Dog, I always run ideas past my trusty mutt, Lara. The Bark and Read Foundation is a great way of facilitating school and library visits with dogs, and anything that encourages children to want to read, particularly aloud, is extremely positive.”
For more information on the Bark and Read Foundation, and the benefits of children reading to dogs, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/barkandread.