Dog Days of Summer
The dog days of summer are alive and well on Monday morning as students build their reading skills while bonding with adoptable dogs that are always willing to lend an ear. The program is in partnership with the Spartanburg Humane Society and is part of the State Department’s Read To Succeed initiative, which has a goal of all students becoming proficient readers by the end of third grade.
Jennifer Dowis, the Summer Reading Camp Coordinator, notes the program is proving to be a huge success. Before camp started two weeks ago, many of the young readers didn’t feel good about reading aloud, according to Dowis. Now they feel more confident in their reading skills and also feel safe when reading to a dog. Though the children believe they are teaching the dogs to read, in fact, with the dog as the attentive audience (and an occasional assist from the volunteer partner), they are actually teaching themselves. According to the children, however, reading is about the dog, not about them. No embarrassment. No pressure.
The premise is that good dogs are good medicine and that the dogs will continue to help children become better readers for many years to come.