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Literacy Interventions

While our presence in classrooms has a hugely positive general effect, we achieve fantastic results when working one-to-one and specifically targeting areas students are finding difficult—in particular literacy.

We have seen children who had fallen far behind by previously refusing to engage in reading activities improve by a great degree and—perhaps more importantly—genuinely start to enjoy reading and the world of books.  We help young people look forward to reading, to be proud of their achievements and become excited about choosing their next book.

There have been many studies looking into the positive effects that therapy dogs can have on the literacy levels of children and we have seen the positive results of these for ourselves. We have worked with children of many ages, backgrounds and abilities, and we’re proud to be able to say that all of them have increased their reading accuracy and their reading comprehension ages as a direct consequence of our attendance.

AAI practiser Claire Pickersgill shares an example of her interventions along with CAL dog Lilly:

“I’ve been working with a child who’s reading age improved by 1.5 years and reading comprehension improved by 2.5 years within a 3 month period.  It was through her engagement with Lilly that her confidence grew and her progress excelled.

I’ve also been working with another young person whose anxiety was preventing her from attending school. By introducing her to Lilly, she was able to help her feel calm and confident and talk through her anxieties. She attended short sessions that increased over time and she’s now confident enough to attend lessons alongside her peers.’

“As a teacher in a special needs school I can thoroughly recommend Canine Assisted Learning. I have witnessed their ability to calm and alleviate tension in very over anxious pupils in crisis, in a caring and empathetic manor. The special bond that pupils form with the dog enables them to be themselves in a safe environment, which in turn encourages dialogue from children who have shut down along with the understanding of empathy of others. The benefits are huge on both a physical and emotional level”.

Mrs Orton, Year 6 Class Teacher