Westtown Thornbury elementary school held a family literacy night in February of 2018. Children and their families had the opportunity to read with Shadowlee Canine dogs and volunteers. At the conclusion of this evening, one of the school's special education teachers did some research.
Four students were tested both with and without the presence of a therapy dog on Complete Letter Sounds (CLS) and Whole Words Read (WWR). In both tests each student showed an increase in literacy while in the presence of the canine therapy dog.
To us, this test quantifies the progress that we as volunteers see each day with the children that we work with. Before our very eyes their confidence grows, they become less shy and more calm and read with amazing fluency to the dogs. The dogs enjoy the interaction, the stories and the most of all the snuggles,
We look forward to working with another group of Westtown Thornbury kindergarteners next year!