Cute Kiera is a pupil's best friend

Pupils are improving their reading with the help of an unusual teacher – Staffie cross Kiera!

The four-year-old has been taking part in a special project to help some Trafford schoolchildren with their literacy.

Experts say reading to a dog can be therapeutic, breaks down barriers and helps children improve their confidence.

As part of reading therapy sessions at Sale Library, each child was given 15 minutes to read sections of their favourite book to Kiera – and the results were amazing.

Alexandra Langhorn, Educational Opportunities Officer at Trafford Council, who set up the project with the help of Bury-based Stay 'n' Play Doggy Day Care Centre, said:

We recognised the fact that a small number of Year One pupils were having trouble with their reading and set up the project with Kiera.

It is a known fact that youngsters who read to dogs have decreased inhibitions. They would be too shy to read out in class but will read to a dog – the dog will not judge them.  

Each of the children who took part in the project benefited greatly. Their reading improved massively and their parents told us they were delighted with the results of the project.

Parents and siblings were also given the chance to be involved in the six-week project which involved assessing the pupils through special reading diaries.

Alexandra added:

The project was a huge success and resulted in the children becoming members of their local libraries. They all now love to read and have made it part of their everyday lives. We are now planning to expand the project in the new year.”

Luke Millington, owner of the Stay 'n' Play Doggy Day Care Centre, said:

Reading to dogs is non-judgemental and children are more relaxed. They are not bothered if they get a word wrong and just keep trying. This programme gets children to challenge themselves and has proved to be a success time and time again.

Kiera is a lovely dog and enjoys spending time with people – she really is a star!


Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018