A lifelong love for reading
At Atrium, we love dogs, reading and children.
So, when we found out about the Story Dogs program in 2021, we wanted to get more involved.
Story Dogs is an Australia-wide literary organisation with a mission to make reading fun for children, so they become confident lifelong readers. It’s built around the idea of young children and young adolescents reading out loud to dogs. A handler and their dog visits a school weekly and hosts quiet one-on-one reading sessions with select students. It’s not for everyone though – students are specially chosen who need a little extra help with their reading.
The dogs are chosen for their patient temperaments to help children with reading difficulties, while the children become the ‘teacher’ as they help their dog to understand the text by reading it to them and answering questions. The benefits for the children include improved focus, increased reading skills, soaring confidence and enhanced learning. Story Dogs doesn’t judge or assess in any way – the program is designed to be fun and interactive.
Supporting literacy in Australia
Today, Story Dogs can be found across many schools around Australia. Since the program began in 2012, it has grown exponentially – translating to more children developing confidence for reading and a stronger interest in words.
At Atrium, the philosophy of Story Dogs aligns closely with our own values of ‘words matter’. We believe strongly that great writing helps to create better cities for us all, which all starts from developing a lifelong interest in reading as children.
We are very proud to sponsor ‘Harvey’ the Golden Labrador and Jayne at Murrumbeena Primary School, in Melbourne’s South East. Jayne and Harvey attend the school with a team of Story Dogs every fortnight. The funding provides:
- The professional assessment and accreditation of the Dog Team (dog and handler)
- The training of the handler, including training materials
- Subsidised reimbursement of the required vet health check
- Dog vest with logo
- Public Liability Insurance
- Volunteer Workers Insurance
- Quality, new, fun children’s picture books x 6
- Reading rug
- Uniform for the volunteer
There are plenty of opportunities to sponsor a Story Dog around Australia – and in schools.
If you would like to register your interest for your local primary school, check out the link below: