Introducing Rufus – our school’s Read2Me Dog
26 April 2019
For the past two terms, Rufus, our very own fully trained Pets as Therapy (PAT) Read2Me dog, has been visiting several children in school each week. Rufus is a friendly, very calm Tibetan Terrier. He comes with his very own human, Jane, who looks after him at all times while he is in school.
Rufus visits Wallace Fields Junior School to listen to children reading. Many children, like some adults, feel nervous and stressed if asked to speak in public. However, Rufus can have a transformative effect on children when they read to him. They may feel less self-conscious and more confident as Rufus is not judging them. All the children currently reading to Rufus really look forward to their weekly sessions and now know Rufus well. We have had huge success with some children. Below is a quote from a recent parent email:
“I just wanted to say how astonishing the transformation in my child’s reading has been since she has been reading to the dog in school. She has gone from a chronically unconfident reader who said reading wasn’t for her … to someone who devours books. I have seen a big improvement in her willingness to do other English related tasks”.
Students are selected by their teachers as those who would benefit most from visits from Rufus; normally those who lack confidence with reading . The sessions are weekly and last about 15 minutes.
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