Dogs big and small are helping Shoalhaven children break down reading barriers every week in Shoalhaven Libraries. Paws ‘n’ Tales is a literacy program, provided in partnership with Paws Pet Therapy, for primary aged children who may be experiencing reading difficulties, low self-esteem or learning difficulties.
Catherine Horsley has been volunteering her dogs in the program for the last four years, and she can’t believe the progress that the children make even after just one session.
“Kids spend all day learning at school, we give them the chance to not have to learn after school. It is a break for them to relax with the dog…. It is a self-confidence building program.” Catherine said.
“We can see the improvement after the first session…they’re amazed at how much they can read, in the relaxed atmosphere with the dog.” Catherine said.
Mayor Amanda Findley would like to see this program expanded into more Councils around the nation.
“I have heard parents of the children say how much calmer their child has become since starting the free program. The program is not only getting children reading but is also building their confidence in a safe environment.” Clr Findley said.
The Paw ‘n’ Tales program is held every Wednesday at Ulladulla and Nowra libraries.