Therapy dog visits Abergele school to boost literacy skills

Reporter:

Suzanne Kendrick

A ‘therapy dog’ has been visiting a high school to help boost literacy.

Isaac, an ex-guide dog, and his owner, Derek Barker, have been making regular trips to the library at Ysgol Emrys in Abergele to spend time with pupils who find reading difficult or stressful.

The youngsters read to Isaac, who plays the role of ‘listener’.

This relaxed atmosphere is said to enhance literacy skills and help the pupils feel less self-conscious when reading.

Literacy intervention
co-ordinator Anne Hickey said Isaac was proving “a great success already” and pupils looked forward to seeing him each week.

She explained how throughout the sessions the pupils read to Isaac, which encourages their reading and increases their confidence. At the end of each session they give Isaac a treat.

Year seven pupil Warren Jacobs said: “Reading to Isaac has made me feel more confident to read in front of the class.”

Emily-Rose Hatton-Hunter added: “It’s helping me to improve my reading and understand what I am reading.”

Isaac will return to Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan in September.

Email:

suzanne.kendrick@nwn.co.uk

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