Take a moment to be inspired by some amazing stories of the success of the Story Dogs program. Some of these stories also show why Story Dogs is so much more than a reading support program
– we change lives!
Brock’s Story – a triumph over Autism.
Golden’s Story – a golden Labrador weaving her magic over a selectively mute student.
Story Dog “Lilly‘: ‘Lilly’ and Trish helped a boy, who at the start of the year could hardly read many words. He would blush when spoken to, and would not talk, being extremely shy. He progressed to level 26, converses well, and is no longer shy, but filled with confidence and only blushes when Trish tells him he is her star reader!
Story Dog ‘Keira’: Our volunteer Dog Team Jan and ‘Keira’ recount some of the experiences they have had at a school in Currumbin, Queensland:
One young boy had a reading level of 3 when we started and was already misbehaving in class, getting in trouble in the playground and often on lunchtime detentions. He adored ‘Keira’ and by the time we finished he was more focused in both our Story Dogs sessions and in class. His reading had reached level 10 – although I was disappointed with this, the teacher was thrilled, reiterating that it would not have happened without Story Dogs.
Are the results lasting? I ran into a young boy I had 3 years ago in my first group, he’s now in year 5, and his first words to me were, “Do you remember me?” followed by, “I read every night now” – he was obviously so pleased to say this. When we started he had been far behind in his reading and was unsettled in class and starting to get into trouble. Now I saw a well-presented, confident young boy who enjoys reading – it was really wonderful to think that ‘Keira’ and I might have helped with that transformation in some small way.
Story Dog ‘Holly’: A new volunteer Dog Team in Victoria have given this feedback after only one school term:-
In one term, I have seen a delightful little girl go from reading like a quiet mouse to a roaring tiger (as per ‘Holly’s’ request) and a little boy who started on level 12 at the beginning of term and reached level 25 by the end. The little boys teacher is amazed, but watching him with Holly it is clear that he just needed a reason to sit still while he reads. Patting ‘Holly’ while reading was the perfect excuse.
Story Dog ‘Stumpy’:
One of Stumpy’s students from last year is in a school newsletter at the start of this year, for a Pupil of the Week Award for being a responsible reader. This from a child who couldn’t read, and didn’t want to read, when they began the Story Dogs program with ‘Stumpy’.
‘Biggles’ weaves his magic: – feedback from one of our volunteers
The little boy with the glasses is going to be my star pupil by the end of the year. He is improving so much. The first 2 weeks I had to read to him as he was so reluctant. The next 2 weeks he picked out the pages he would read which were the ones with the least amount of words, of course, and thought I should read the others.
Now he will have a go at anything. At the end of the book he is allowed to take” Wiggles” as he calls Biggles, for a little walk. Before we start I clean his glasses which I don’t think get cleaned in between visits!!