Bark & Read Case Study
like reading to Danny best of all”so says Alfie, a pupil at MaplefieldsSchool in Northamptonshire. Danny is nothis teacher or his brother or his friend.Danny is a two-year old rescue Greyhound,owned and handled by Tony Nevett.Danny is a Reading Education AssistanceDog (READ) and it is Danny’s job to helpchildren learn to love reading. Maplefields School is a school for pupils with severe social, emotional andbehavioural difficulties who have astatement of educational need. Theschool is a happy, learning-focussedenvironment where children who havehad negative experiences of mainstreamschooling can thrive. Because the childrenhave special needs when it comes tolearning, the Maplefields’ teachers needto be imaginative when it comes toengaging the children and makinglearning into something they really enjoy. When Head Teacher and dog-lover Lynda Morgan heard about Danny and thedifference he can make, she decided toinvite him along to Maplefields to see ifhe could help her pupils.Difficulties with concentration and low self-esteem are some of the hurdles that childrenlike Alfie and the other Maplefields’ childrenneed to overcome in order to enjoy reading.This is where dogs like Danny can help.Children are less stressed, less self-consciousand more confident when they have a dogas a reading companion. Dogs are non- judgemental and will not mind if a childmakes a mistake while reading out loud.Dogs in the classroom and library providecomfort, encourage positive socialbehaviour, enhance self-esteem, motivatespeech and inspire children to have fun andenjoy the experience of reading.Danny now visits Maplefields School oncea week and the teachers say his visit is oneof the highlights of the week for thechildren. Danny visits each classroom in turnand each child takes a turn reading quietly to him while the rest of the class continue with lessons. Teachers have noticed that thechildren can concentrate on reading for quite some time when sitting with Danny and that being able to stroke him whilethey read has a calming effect whichenables them to sit still for longer. Readingto Danny, who loves hearing stories and who never criticises or corrects, provides aconfidence boost and a real sense ofachievement. No wonder Alfie and hisclassmates look forward to his visit so much. When he is not helping the children toread, Danny can be quite a cheeky character, sticking his nose in the waste-paper bin, stealing cuddly toys andenjoying his very own school dinner atlunchtime. All the children and teacherslove him and praise the positivecontribution he had made to their schooland to helping the Maplefields’ childrenlearn to love reading. They love him somuch that when Maplefields School movesto a brand-new campus in Spring 2012,there will be a special reading corner in thenew library, just for Danny. Why not find out more about Bark &Read and see if a dog like Danny couldhelp your local school or library?
Bark & Read
The Bark & Read Foundation has been set upto support and promote the amazing work ofcharities that take dogs into schools asreading volunteers to help tackle the UK’sliteracy problems. Funded by the Kennel ClubCharitable Trust, the Bark & Read Foundationis working with Reading Education AssistanceDogs (READ) and with Pets As Therapy,through their Read 2 Dogs programme, bothof which operate in schools around thecountry, helping children to read with their specially trained support dogs.Reading to dogs has been proved tohelp children develop reading skills andbuild confidence. The dogs have a calmingeffect on children and the dogs will listen tothe children read without being judgemental or critical. This comfortingenvironment helps to nurture children’senthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence needed to read aloud.All over the country, children arelearning to love reading with the supportof these amazing doggy companions.You can read their testimonials in their own words at
and find out how you can join in with theprogramme or arrange a visit for your local school or library.
Visit the Bark & Read corner
Bark & Read corner is at the Kennel ClubLibrary Stand (Stand 9 in Hall 2). Comealong and meet Danny the READ dog, star of the CBBC shows
Animals at Work
, and lotsof other doggy reading companions. Thereare lots of books for children to share withthe dogs, and grown-ups can find out moreabout how Bark & Read could help their local school or library. See you there.
celebrating healthy, happy dogs www.crufts.org.uk
CASE STUDY – MAPLEFIELDS SCHOOL
Bark & Read
If you would like one of theBark & Read sponsored dogs tovisit your school, communitygroup or other organisation, or if you have a dog that you think might be suitable as a readingvolunteer please visit
Reading assistance dogs and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust join forces to combat the UK’s literacy problemsand help children learn to love reading
Opposite from left to right and bottom:
xxxxxxxxxto be placed at a later date
Photo> The Kennel Club Picture Library